Turkuaz has shared a funky, fright-filled single, “Shakin’ In My Sheets”, marking the band’s first new release of 2021. The spooky new song arrived on Friday, just as the nonet is gearing up for a two-night “Halloween Festivity Nightmare” hometown run at NYC’s Webster Hall on October 29th–30th.

“We have a ton of material in the works!” noted frontman Dave Brandwein in a press release. “Eventually, we’ll have a new full-length, but it felt appropriate to release this song right now with its lyrical relevance to Halloween.”

Even with its Halloween-adjacent lyrics that also seem to touch on ever-present subjects—such as the isolating effects COVID has had—”Shakin’ In My Sheets” was actually written soon after Turkuaz released its latest studio album, 2018’s Life in the City.

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“It’s odd that it was written before all the recent events of the world because, in retrospect, it just seems so relevant,” reflected Brandwein. “The song picks up where we left off with some of the themes from our last album, describing feelings of alienation, discomfort, and depression setting in as each day passes.”

Lines like “Breakaway, what more can you say/blue to gray day after day,” highlight the internal struggle Brandwein discusses, however—and perhaps more curiously—the song’s instrumentation emits a completely different vibe. Upbeat and somehow evoking positive, danceable emotion, “Shakin’ In My Sheets” is a tale of two songs, much like many of the songs in Turkuaz’s catalog.

In a phone interview with Live For Live Music, Brandwein discussed this dichotomy and shed light on his creative process when it comes to dealing with negative emotions while also writing songs that make people want to dance. “It’s sort of a way to transform all these worries, and stresses, and cares into something positive, and I think that intensity going into it requires such a counterbalance for the music to be upbeat and happy and fun. It kind of turns your problems into a solution in a weird way.”

These feelings of alienation, discomfort, and depression that poke through Turkuaz’s lyrics are things that many listeners have felt, especially given the ongoing pandemic situation. To that point, Brandwein took a moment in our conversation the express the importance of having a creative outlet to deal with these emotions and promote a sense of mindfulness.

“Putting dark lyrics that represent actual feelings that, certainly I have … and I think most people experience at one point or another with different levels of intensity … to take that kind of lyrical content and put it over fun music is therapeutic in its own way.”

He went on to explain, “When I sit down to write I just let whatever wants to come out, come out. I know a lot of people who are like ‘Okay, what’s this song going to be about?’ and tell a story. That’s great, and I try to tell stories some of the time, but often it’s my own story and I just sit and I wait until something comes.” Brandwein continued, “I’ll just write, you know, two verses, a chorus, and whatever, and I’ll look at it on the paper; I’m like, ‘Oh my god, this is exactly what I’ve been going through’ … It’s therapeutic to just sit and let things come … The subconscious mind is a hell of a thing!”

The Turkuaz frontman explained that he and members Taylor Shell (bass), Craig Brodhead (guitar/keys), Michelangelo Carubba (drums), Chris Brouwers (trumpet/keys), Greg Sanderson (tenor sax), Josh Schwartz (baritone sax/vocals), Sammi Garett (vocals), and Shira Elias (vocals) are trying to bring something new to funk music. While many funk songs are about getting up and dancing—including some from Turkuaz—the band tries to bring that similar vibe while also allowing for their internal struggles and feelings to surface in many of the lyrics.

“I think about it as respect for the genre, because we have to do something different with it, otherwise we’re just imitating. So, putting that dark lyrical content in a lot of the music is a little bit of what gives us our edge.”

That edge will be on full display tonight at NYC’s Webster Hall when Turkuaz kicks off its two-night hometown Halloween throwdown, where the band promises to bring all the energy it’s been known for over its decade-plus career.

Check out the latest Turkuaz single, “Shakin’ In My Sheets”, below and click here for additional listening options.

Turkuaz – “Shakin’ In My Sheets”

After a slew of festival appearances throughout the summer and fall with Talking HeadsJerry Harrison and Adrian Belew celebrating the 40th anniversary of Remain in Light, the ensemble is eager to be back on the road and perform the music they’ve been working on. To close out the year, Turkuaz will ring in 2022 with its annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop event in Hartford, CT for two nights at Infinity Hall (12/30–12/31).

Head to the band’s website for tickets and more information and scroll down for a full list of 2021–2022 tour dates.

Turkuaz 2021–2022 Tour Dates

Oct. 28th – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Oct. 29th – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Oct. 30th – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Oct. 31st – Live Oak, FL – Suwannee Hulaween &
Nov. 4th – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
Nov. 5th – Boston, MA – Big Night Live
Nov. 6th – Portland, ME – State Theater
Dec. 11th – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom !
Dec. 29th – Philadelphia, PA – Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia
Dec. 30th & 31st – Hartford, CT – Infinity Hall *
Jan 28th & 29th – Miami Beach, FL – North Beach Bandshell *
Apr. 29th – New Orleans, LA – The Joy Theater &
May 1st – Atlanta, GA – Sweetwater 420 Fest &
May 5th – New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s *

* notes dates w/o Thumpasaurus
! notes dates w/ Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
& notes dates w/ Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew

View Tour Dates