Amadou & Mariam's New Album, "Folila," Out April 10, Now Available to Pre-Order; Watch "Wily Kataso" via The Guardian
Amadou & Mariam are set to release Folila, their first studio album since Welcome to Mali, on April 10. The new album, helmed by longtime producer Marc-Antoine Moreau, epitomizes the duo's embrace of collaboration, with contributions by Santigold, TV on the Radio, Nick Zinner, Theophilus London, Bassekou Kouyate, and others. It is now available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store. Hear the album track "Dougou Badia" and watch the couple's performance of "Wily Kataso" for the Guardian here.
Over the course of the last several years, Amadou & Mariam’s music has become increasingly expansive, while remaining anchored by their trademark West African blues-rock. Manu Chao and Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn, in addition to their longtime producer/manager Marc-Antoine Moreau, have produced their recordings. In the same spirit of openness, the self-billed Blind Couple from Mali played a key role in Albarn’s multi-artist Africa Express concerts, and, more recently, performed informal L’Afrik C’est Chic jam sessions with various special guests in London and New York. Folila, their new album, due out April 10, 2012, on Because Music / Nonesuch Records, epitomizes their embrace of collaboration, with contributions by Santigold, TV on the Radio, Nick Zinner, Theophilus London, Bassekou Kouyate, and others. The album is now available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store.
Folila is produced by Marc-Antoine Moreau, who has worked with the duo for the entirety of their professional career. They recorded the basic tracks in New York and then re-recorded them in Bamako. For the final album, they chose tracks from both sessions. From the first few seconds of the opening track, “Dougou Badia,” the music is instantly recognizable, with Amadou’s signature electric guitar soon joined by Mariam’s distinctive voice. Santigold, who co-wrote the song with Mariam, joins her on vocals. Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) complements Amadou on guitar on this and other tracks. Listen to "Dougou Badia" here:
Other notable collaborations include “Wily Kataso,” featuring TV on the Radio, and “Nebe Miri,” with the hip-hop artist Theophilus London. Bassekou Kouyate, another Malian artist who has accomplished a remarkable crossover in the US, plays ngoni on several songs.
Amadou & Mariam visited the Guardian studio to perform an exclusive live version of "Wily Kataso" for the paper's How I wrote ... series. Hear them explain the story behind the song and perform it for the Guardian here:
The couple were recently the subject of a feature article in The Observer. Writer Caspar Llewellyn Smith visits the duo in their Bamako home and talks with them about their early years, revisiting the school for the blind where they first met, and about the success their music has enjoyed since the release of Dimanche à Bamako in 2005. You can read the extensive article at guardian.co.uk and see a slideshow of photographs from Bamako by Andy Hall, also at guardian.co.uk.
Folila is the first Amadou & Mariam studio album since Welcome to Mali, one of the most critically acclaimed recordings of 2009. An 8.4 review in Pitchfork said, “Inevitable is a good word for the stardom of Amadou & Mariam. People this amazingly talented and open to new sounds and ideas rarely remain obscure, especially after so many years honing their craft and building their catalog …This album is an affirmation of global connectivity and an emerging global culture that transcends and repurposes tradition as it sees fit—the sound of Mali merging with the world at large.” Indeed, the album won them their second Grammy nomination, a performance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” opening slots in stadium shows with Coldplay and U2, and plaudits from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, TIME, SPIN, Rolling Stone, FADER, and many others.
To pre-order Folila, head to the Nonesuch Store, where orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album available starting release day.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Nonesuch releases The Natalie Merchant Collection—a deluxe ten-CD box set compiled by Merchant—on June 23, 2017. It's ten discs, including all eight of her solo studio albums from the past three decades; Butterfly, a new studio set featuring new songs and reinterpreted selections from her catalog, arranged for string quartet; and Rarities, a collection of rare and previously unreleased tracks. The package includes a 100-page lyric book and pictorial history of her solo career. Pre-orders include an instant download of the new recording of "Frozen Charlotte" from the Butterfly disc and an exclusive, limited-edition print autographed by Merchant.
Friday, April 21, 2017Friday, April 21, 2017
Bach Trios, an album of Bach works recorded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile, and bassist Edgar Meyer, is now available in a two-LP vinyl edition, following its recent release on CD and digitally. The Times (UK) calls it "irresistible." The Observer says the musicians are "in perfect harmony." Herald Scotland exclaims: "A new classic ...Truly, virtuosity is its own reward." The trio begins a nine-city US tour at Boston's Symphony Hall tonight.