The album Immigrant by the vocalist Fuat Tuaç has an eerily universal appeal to it. With songs and themes that are at once personal and collective; relatable in almost every way to a whole generation displaced by everything from poverty, homelessness, and loneliness; alienation that comes from finding oneself in a new and unfamiliar world, swept up in the whirl of social media, which can enable one to develop the mask of anonymity, but can also be a proverbial rabbit-hole full of labyrinths and dead-ends.
Mr Tuaç is in fact, singing of an afflicted generation that is acutely aware of itself and the numbing prospect that awaits so many who tumble out of bed each day, left to its own devices to sink or swim in a world teeming with life, yet proverbially alone. He has trawled the world that he sings about. But instead of being stricken by bitterness, his music echoes with hope. Even in the place of despair for so many – Moss Park, the almost mythical encampment for the homeless and those living with one addiction or another – Mr Tuaç seems to detect some light where most others in the world at large see as a blight on every landscape.
On this, his sophomore recording, Mr Tuaç is joined by several eminent Canadian musicians – guitarist Eric St Laurent, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, the inimitable vocalist Kim Richardson – as well as the Turkish vocalist Yeşim Akin on one track. Through it all Mr Tuaç leads an ensemble perceptively attuned to his vision and artistry. The astringency of his vocal delivery makes for a very poignant focus on the narratives and the stark imagery contained in the lyric. This is almost reminiscent of another famous Canadian – Leonard Cohen – was once famous for.
With abject sincerity in his voice and the ability to turn the almost naked brutality of an image into something that can be enshrined in song is an art that few singers can pull off. Mr Tuaç is exactly that of artist. With two albums loaded with dense imagery dappled in shadow and light he shows much promise. The fact that he is a vocalist proficient in three languages also bodes well for him, should he continue to sharpen his visionary worldview with music that is stark, and laced with acerbic lyricism.
Music – 1: No Strings Attached; 2: Asla Unutamam; 3: Chez moi; 4: Long & Winding Road; 5: Immigrant; 6: Aeroplane; 7: Who’s That Man? 8: Moss Park; 9: La Rua Madureira 10: Stay; 11: Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim.
Musicians – Fuat Tuaç: vocals; Eric St. Laurent: guitar; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet; Eric West: drums; Jordon O’Connor: contrabass. Special Guests – Kim Richardson: vocals ; Yeşim Akin: vocals .
Released – 2023
Label – Tuzu Kuru Records
Runtime – 43:31