Eight months after seven members of Turkuaz departed the group, the onetime nine-piece has announced its final full-length albums, Paradiso and Apollyon. Recorded in 2021 prior to the split, the two stylistically disparate LPs are both out on September 9th. Along with the announcement, Turkuaz has shared a pair of singles, “Strange People (Strange Times)” and “Feel No Pain” from Paradiso.

Announced via Relix on Thursday, Paradiso and Apollyon represent two different sides of Turkuaz. Paradiso was inspired by the more recent sound of the group’s ten-year run, a future-leaning synth-driven exploration. On Apollyon, the band looks back at its funk-forward roots as the extensive lineup’s communal grooves guide the way. Both albums feature all nine members of the band, though after the split the two remaining members Dave Brandwein and bassist Taylor Shell were left to polish the LPs.

“Turkuaz is releasing these records from beyond the grave,” Dave Brandwein, the group’s frontman, told Relix. “We didn’t plan on these being the last albums when deciding to give them the heaven and hell themes, but it certainly seems like we must have known something in retrospect.”

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For “Strange People (Strange Times)”, Turkuaz finds a hook and sticks with it. The irony of the composition is that it carries a future-funk sound from a band that has no future. “Strange People” began life as a song for one of guitarist/keyboardist Craig Brodhead‘s side projects, but was soon brought into the band—at Dave’s behest—and no doubt benefits from the depth of the group’s sound. A four-minute single version is available in addition to the stretched-out eight-minute album version that lingers a while longer in the groove. Speaking to Relix, Brandwein compared the single and the pandemic as possible entry points to the group for listeners.

“Of course, in the world of Turkuaz [the track’s title] applies in some entirely unique respects as well,” Brandwein said of “Strange People”. “Releasing albums posthumously after the break-up of a band is a strange process to say the least. In addition to being an appropriate choice, it also happens to be one of our favorites…This is another one that I think fits the situation and the times we’re living in pretty damn well even though it was written a couple years ago. Some might say that the first track on an album being 8 minutes long is a bad idea – to them we say, ‘too bad!’”

Brodhead acknowledged the song’s release on social media, noting

“One of the songs that I put blood sweat and tears into is one of the singles that has been released “Strange People (Strange Times)” and I am completely stoked on how it came out,” the multi-instrumentalist wrote on Instagram. “I actually think it’s one of the best recordings we’ve ever done and it brings the exact funk party vibe that I always loved so much about the band.”

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“Feel No Pain” is something more tangible for the Turkuaz faithful. Shell’s slapping bassline sets the stage for Brandwein’s spotlight lead vocals as Sammi Garett and Shira Elias fill out the sound with call-and-response backup singing. The song would feel at home on 2018’s Life In The City with its bright lights, loud club dance aesthetic.

“It’s bittersweet finally putting these records out,” Brandwein said. “Taylor and I are obviously sad about the break-up of the band. Though we have our frustrations, what seems most important right now is to give something to the fans that have supported us all these years, and we hope that two full albums of new Turkuaz material will serve as a half-way decent consolation prize in lieu of being able to tour anymore.”

In a string of Instagram stories, Brodhead commented,

“A lot of conflicting emotions after hearing the announcement of this record… Obviously I’ve known about the existence of these records for a long time. Some of it goes all the way back to 2017-18,” he noted. “There are parts that I worked really hard on and am extremely proud of. Other parts I have no idea what it sounds like and am discovering much the same way that fans are. Overall I am happy that there is an end to this chapter of our lives and that there is new life in a way …and a chance for fans to experience the band one last time.”

Brandwein also touched on the departure of his former bandmates Craig Brodhead, trumpeter/keyboardist Chris Brouwers, drummer Michelangelo Carubba, vocalist Shira Elias, vocalist Sammi Garett, saxophonist Greg Sanderson, and saxophonist/vocalist Josh Schwartz.

“People often ask me ‘what happened?’ It’s hard to sum up 10 years of complicated relationships into a single answer of ‘what happened,’” Brandwein said. “It had to do with growing tension, power dynamics, Dani and I breaking up, my substance issues, money, the pandemic, life on the road and a whole lot more. It had just reached its limit. I wish it had gone differently, but in some ways, it happened exactly how it needed to.”

Check out the new Turkuaz singles “Strange People (Strange Times)” and “Feel No Pain” from the group’s forthcoming final albums, Paradiso and Apollyon, below or on your preferred platform.

Turkuaz  – “Strange People (Strange Times)” b/w “Feel No Pain”

Paradiso Tracklist

1. Strange People (Strange Times)
2. Shakin’ in my Sheets
3. Lovers of Valdaro
4. Open Up Your Head
5. You’ve Got it Made
6. Disconnect in the Discoteque
7. Something in the Air
8. El Huevo Nuevo
9. Living in the Glow
10. Feel No Pain
11. Rewind
12. In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)
13. Heart and Soul #9
14. Crystal Ball

View Tracklist

Apollyon Tracklist

1. Knock, Knock
2. Take a Little Look Around
3. The Mess
4. The Ever Watchful Eye (interlude)
5. Take ‘Em Down
6. Ophidiophobia (ft. Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew)
7. The In Between (interlude)
8. Shadows
9. Pleasure and the Pain
10. L’Angelo Misterioso (interlude)
11. Brain Drain Fever
12. The Next Phase

View Tracklist

On September 17th, former Turkuaz members Craig Brodhead (guitar/keys), Chris Brouwers (trumpet/keys), Michelangelo Carubba (drums), Shira Elias (vocals), Sammi Garett (vocals), Greg Sanderson (tenor sax), and Josh Schwartz (baritone sax/vocals) will debut their new project Cool Cool Cool at Brooklyn Comes AliveLive For Live Music‘s long-running event will return to the Brooklyn Mirage for a daylong musical marathon with additional performances from STS9Medeski Martin & Wood, and Lettuce [get tickets].