London based Malian Songhoy Blues have announced the details of the release of their debut album, Music In Exile, which is out via Transgressive Records on Monday 23rd February 2015. Watch the video for first single “Al Hassidi Tere” above.
The Songhoy were once one of Mali’s most prominent ethnic groups, but have suffered a long decline sixth the peak of their influence in the 6th and 17th centuries. Traditionally, the Songhoy hail from the banks of the River Niger between the ancient cities of Timbuktu and Gao. It is from Gao, that the band springs. Beginning making music in university in Bamako, the band is an attempt to blend the traditional with the modern, and is particularly influenced by Baba Salah, Ali Farka Toure, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix.
Their break came in September 2013 when they were spotted by French music manager Marc-Antoine Moreau, and invited to record a song with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. That track, “Soubour”, ended up on the Africa Express album, Maison des Jeunes. Invited to perform at the launch of the album in London in December 2013, the band later returned in the summer of 2014 to play shows in London, Glasgow and at the WOMAD festival, sign a deal with Transgressive Records and begin work on a full-length feature film about the banning of music in Mali.
Nick Zinner and Marc-Antoine also took care of production duties on their debut album. The tracklisting is as follows:
- Al Hassidi Terei
- Desert Melodie
- Sekou Oumarou
- Al Tchere Bele
- Petit Metier
Songhoy Blues are heading back to the UK next month to support Damon Albarn at the Royal Albert Hall and in addition, have just announced a headline show at Oslo on February 2nd 2015. Please see a full list of dates below:
15 LONDON, Royal Albert Hall, support to Damon Albarn.
22 PUNE, NH7 Weekender Festival
26 BANGALORE, NH7 Weekender Festival
29 DELHI, NH7 Weekender Festival
02 LYON, Transbordeur, support to Tinariwen
03 GENVE, Usine
05 RENNES, Transmusicales
06 COPENHAGEN, Global
09 BRUSSELS, Ancienne Belgiqué
11 AMSTERDAM, Paradiso up
12 THE HAGUE, State X Fest
02 LONDON, Oslo Tickets