Artist: Barista (Stage name for musician Bahadir Han Eryilmaz): Drums, percussion, keys and backing vocals; Supporting musicians: Brian Duffy: Vocals; Simon Phillips: Drums and Jesse Siebenberg: Keys and guitars
Album: ‘Open Sesame Vol 2: Press Rewind;’ Label: Monoplay Records; Producer: Eryilmaz; Release date: June 4, 2021
Singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Barista has become the rare contemporary recording artist who can fully and freely immerse himself in a world of expression that inspires him to create relatable, genre-defying songs. The Istanbul-based musician, whose real name is Bahadir Han Eryilmaz, produces tracks with substance, as his lyrics are abundant with authentic purpose and emotion. His latest raw and liberating collection of tunes are featured on his recently released six-track album, ‘Open Sesame Vol 2: Press Rewind.’
The classic rock record, whose tunes cultivate a state of inner peace, is the second installment of Barista’s overall new five volume LP, which features a total of 26 songs. Like his earlier work, the entries on ‘Open Sesame Vol 2: Press Rewind’ are heavily influenced by the experiences of his own life and those of others. The songs’ lyrics and instrumentals are also inspired from several of his progressive pop-rock musical influences, including Toto, Supertramp and The Alan Parsons Project, as well an array of Turkish folk tradition.
The heavy rock-driven album opens with one of its most enthralling, standout tracks, ‘Haze.’ Driven by a stellar interweaving of the acoustic guitar and walking bass, the free tempo rock anthem chronicles the joy of overcoming pain and choosing love after people lose their way in the title haze. Eryilmaz also croons about the satisfaction that accompanies the discovery that love is more important than conquering the world. However, the ’70s-inspired love tune, which is reminiscent of singer-songwriter Jackson Browne’s 1977 rock track, ‘Running On Empty,’ also points out there are harsh realities in life that people need to contend with, including the fact that redemption isn’t always possible, and dreams don’t always come true.
‘Haze’ then delves into the rock album’s sophomore entry, ‘Start,’ an alluring, captivating ballad that features the perspective of a woman who’s contending with a love that isn’t able to survive. Supported by a stellar mixture of guitars and drums, the pop-rock song emphasizes the importance of people moving on after they decide to end a romantic relationship through the stellar lyrics of a strong guest female vocal lead, which is accompanied by Eryilmaz dueting on the chorus. Through her emotional declaration that she wants to be the first choice for the person she’s romantically involved with, the guest singer’s vocals help make the track a potential to become a commercial hit.
‘Open Sesame Vol 2: Press Rewind’ begins to wind down with its fifth entry, ‘Nothing Left,’ which features a unique sound and vibe through its electronica guitars, thumping drums and eerie vocals. The alt-progressive rock tune’s edgy lyrics are passionately sung by Eryilmaz, who croons that he’s trying to overcome the pain of his romantic relationship ending, but the sorrow that accompanies being heart-broken makes him feel as though he can never trust anyone again.
The second installment in the artist’s ‘Open Sesame’ project ends with the progressive-rock inspired and multi-layered entry, ‘Apology.’ Taking a drastic turn from the record’s earlier entries, Eryilmaz proclaims that he won’t offer the title apology for wanting to escape the monotony of his life and instead chase the fantasy of living in the moment. Driven by uptempo rock guitar riffs, the musician advises his listeners to enjoy their lives and live the life they want to lead, in the moment, without any regrets.
‘Open Sesame Vol 1: Her Dress’ is a powerfully progressive, alternative pop-rock LP that perfectly highlights the bold and impressive psychedelic vibe in Eryilmaz ‘s vocals and instrumentals. He once again proves what a multi-layered and inspired visionary artist he is with his unique rhythms and emotional approach to chronicling the relatable journey of striving to find true love and connections in an ever-changing world.