Formed in 1994 Turkish Delight became cult favourites in the underground scene burgeoning in Boston, MA during the first half of the ‘90s. Touted as Thurston Moore’s favourite band they had an incredibly intricate sound and experimental approach to making music which drew as much on the Dada movement as it did alt-rock.
Blending the vocals of Leah Callahan the band’s sound featured homemade instruments as well as the more usual ones. Of the experimental instrumentation the ‘electric can’ became their most used – a home-made, electric bass-like instrument made from a bucket, a pole, and strings.
Debut single ‘Try Harder’ was released in 1995 via Prude Records, and was followed by debut album ‘Tommy Bell’ on Castle von Buhler in 1996. This album – and lead single ‘Spin’ – proved a success for the band and label but despite touring and covermount features with CMJ Monthly the band retained a cult following without crossing into the mainstream alongside many of their Boston peers.
The band split in 1997, ahead of the release of second album Howcha Magowcha in 1998, which subsequently and sadly got a lower key reception than their first offering. Turkish Delight has since reformed briefly for the release of the second album, and more recently in 2018 for shows for iheartnoise alongside the reissue of both albums in limited physical runs.
Described as the missing link between Belly and Sonic Youth CMJ said that they bring, ‘neurotic bizarritude to new heights” and the reissue of their two albums will surely bring their art rock sound to a new generation of listeners.
Musically, the band has as much in common with the Dada movement as it does the alt-rock underground – as they say themselves of their sound, ‘started out Velocity Girl, ended up King Crimson’. With the reissue of both their albums – 1996’s Tommy Bell and 1998’s Howcha Magowcha – their experimental rock can finally reach the audience it so deserved.
Tommy Bell was originally released in 1996 on Castle von Buhler, it had a reissue on limited edition cassette and LP in 2017 via Boston label iheartnoise. Howcha Magowcha was originally released in 1998 on Castle von Buhler, it also had a limited reissue via iheartnoise in 2017.
No live dates are planned at this time but these 2 legendary albums are being reissued on CD / Digital on 22 November 2019.
Turkish Delight are:
- Leah Callahan – vocals, keys, drums
- Dave Nelson – drums, bass clarinet, percussion
- Carl Thien – bass, vocals
- Darryl Blood – guitar, drums, vocals.
Turkish Delight can be found via their own Bandcamp page