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MEAWW's Basement Tapes: Liana blend electronica, pop and Eastern music to create surrealist dream 'Hurricane'

The duo is comprised of Armenian/Turkish sisters Lia and Lena who draw on Eastern and Western musical influences and cultures to create something that is uniquely their own
Liana in 'Hurricane' (Courtesy: Liana)
Liana in 'Hurricane' (Courtesy: Liana)

Armenian/Turkish duo Liana returns with their latest single, 'Hurricane', an electronica and dance-pop song that blends in elements of traditional Armenian and Turkish sounds to create what the duo describes as "an Oriëntal painting dripping into a haunted Surrealism night sky."

As artistes that write and produce their own music in addition to editing and directing their own music videos, sisters Lia and Lena Göçer have found their own sound by combining elements of the genres and cultures that have influenced them.

MEA WorldWide got a chance to chat with Liana about their latest venture, their musical direction and the future projects they have planned.

'Liana' is a portmanteau of your names, Lia and Lena and that seems to reflect your musical style as well, which includes elements of a variety of genres. How would you define your sound?

That depends on how you perceive our music, really. It's to each listener's taste. We are Armenian/Turkish and grew up listening to Middle Eastern music. These beautiful Eastern instruments and melodies run through our veins and we naturally combine them with our love for haunting, cinematic sounds in our music.

Who would you say are your musical influences?

When it comes to music, we have so many different influences. We listen to various artists and genres. Artists that we both enjoy listening to are The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack and Linkin Park.


Being totally independent artistes, what is your writing process like? And how does being self-produced impact your artistry?

Lena: This depends on each song actually, because every song comes to life differently. Though, most of the time I will write a guitar part or produce a piece of music which I will then share with Lia, who will then either add the melody to her poems or write brand new lyrics.

Lia: But sometimes it's the other way around as well, where I'll have a melody that gives Lena the inspiration to write something to. And then we'll just go back and forth on how we could develop the piece and which directions it possibly could go. Being an inspiration for each other is magical, really. Without each other, we wouldn't be able to make the music that we're making.

Lena: We work great together, to the point where we can communicate how we're feeling to one another without even needing to say much. We're blessed to be able to create and find inspiration together, as sisters.

Lia: Every song is a piece of our life. We write from our own experiences and emotions and that's exactly where we get our inspirations from and how 'Hurricane' came to life. When it's not our own emotions inspiring us, however, it's a piece of art or a movie which is where we will draw those cinematic sounds from.

Speaking of 'Hurricane', you've just dropped the music video for the song. Your earlier music tended to be darker, but this one is clearly more upbeat and much closer to pop, while the video has a much brighter look as well. How did the sound and look of 'Hurricane' come together?

The song has a different sound to our previous work, but it still features the floating strings and Eastern vocals and instruments that you hear in our other songs. When you listen closely to 'Hurricane' you'll realize that it's a story about rebirth, finally seeing that everything you need is inside of you and allowing the light to come back in again.

We really wanted to capture that in the video and that's how we came up with the concept of an otherwordly setting where we are reborn over and over again as different goddesses in these exotic and mystifying galaxies. It's a reference to the many forms you can take after being in the dark and finding a way out to breathe again.

The ending is what completes that story, but that's for you, the viewer, to interpret.


You also do your own styling, including hair and make-up and even have your own clothing and jewelry brand, 'Limbs of Liana'. Could you tell us more about the decision to fuse fashion and music in this way?

We both have a huge passion for fabric, designs, clothing, jewelry and how this becomes a piece of who you are. So we knew we wanted to do something with it because, in our daily life, music and fashion are inseparable to us. We started combining these two art forms with filming our own lookbooks and adding our own music to it.

But this wasn't enough, because we wanted to feed our urge to put out our own creations. That's how Limbs of Liana was born. We started out with designing custom and handmade handbags, but we're also working on new pieces and these creations will be born very soon.

Do you have any other projects in the works?

There's so much that goes into creating our music, so much that happens behind the scenes. Apart from writing or producing our music, we work on photoshoots, videos, new concepts, and so much more. We are always connected to our craft, so there's always something new being created.

Where can fans follow you to stay up-to-date on your latest work?

You can stream or order our music at TheyAreLiana. Follow us on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to keep up with our latest projects.

For more on Limbs of Liana, visit our store, or find us on Instagram.

'MEAWW's Basement Tapes' is a column that shines a spotlight on undiscovered/underrated musical gems.