Amadou & Mariam's "Folila" Featured in New York Times: "Driving Guitar Riffs, Resounding Vocals, Hypnotic Melodies"
Amadou & Mariam, whose new album, Folila, was released in the United States on Because Music / Nonesuch Records last week, is the subject of a feature article in the Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure section.
With contributions on the new album from Santigold, TV on the Radio, Nick Zinner, Jake Shears, Theophilus London, and more, "the list of American guests on the CD reads like a Who’s Who of hipster New York," writes the New York Times' James C. McKinley Jr. And yet, McKinley contends, "Despite all the guests the album sounds more traditional than their two previous records ... [N]o Western drum kit is used on Folila. The percolating rhythm from djembe and doumdoum hand drums dominates the songs, mixing with the twang of traditional Malian string instruments. The album evokes the dirt roads and charcoal fires of Bamako more than Manhattan’s skyline."
McKinley goes on to explain: "[Amadou] Bagayoko’s driving guitar riffs push the music along, giving it shape, and [Mariam] Doumbia’s vocal lines—her voice is nasal but angular and resounding—ride above the complex rhythms, threading the beat with hypnotic melodies."
And yet, the album and the many guest artists Amadou and Mariam brought together for the project epitomizes the duo's embrace of collaboration. Amadou tells the Times: "All the people who are featured came to work with us out of love." Indeed, McKinley spoke with all of the contributors noted above about their first encounters with the music of Amadou & Mariam, the joy it brought them, and the subsequent joy brought by working with the duo. Read what they all had to say in the feature article at nytimes.com.
Folila was released to great critical acclaim, with Newsweek describing the couple as "magic," the AP calling Folila their "most enjoyable disc yet," Stereogum naming it album of the week, Entertainment Weekly giving it an A-, and the Christian Science Monitor echoing the guest artists' sentiment noted above: "From start to finish, Folila can barely contain the joy."
To pick up a copy of Folila, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout. The album is also available to purchase their as MP3s and FLAC lossless files.
Amadou & Mariam will be coming to North America this summer. Their currently announced tour dates include stops at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston and the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, sets at the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal and at Lollapalooza in Chicago, plus a just-announced show with Andrew Bird at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City. For additional information and ticket links, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.
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