Amadou & Mariam to Release New Album, "Folila," March 27; “Dougou Badia,” Featuring Santigold, Coming January 24 on Advance EP

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Amadou & Mariam are set to release Folila, their first studio album since Welcome to Mali, on March 27. 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. In advance of the full album, Nonesuch will release the track “Dougou Badia,” featuring Santigold, on a four-song digital EP of the same name on January 24; the EP is now available for pre-order in the Nonesuch Store.

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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 forthcoming album, due out March 27 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.

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.

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.

In advance of the full album, Nonesuch will release “Dougou Badia” on a digital EP of the same name, due out January 24. The four-song EP, now available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store, also includes an alternate mix of the song by Danger Mouse cohort Kennie Takahashi; the album track “Oh Amadou” (with Bertrand Cantat); and a live version of “Wily Kataso” from Eclipse, a show staged in complete darkness at the 2011 Manchester International Festival. You can listen to the song "Dougou Badia," featuring Santigold, on Pitchfork now.

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 the Dougou Badia digital EP and pick up a copy of Amadou & Mariam's previous Because / Nonesuch Records releases, head to the Nonesuch Store now.

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Amadou & Mariam: "Dougou Badia" [EP]
  • Friday, January 6, 2012
    Amadou & Mariam to Release New Album, "Folila," March 27; “Dougou Badia,” Featuring Santigold, Coming January 24 on Advance EP

    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 forthcoming album, due out March 27 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.

    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.

    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.

    In advance of the full album, Nonesuch will release “Dougou Badia” on a digital EP of the same name, due out January 24. The four-song EP, now available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store, also includes an alternate mix of the song by Danger Mouse cohort Kennie Takahashi; the album track “Oh Amadou” (with Bertrand Cantat); and a live version of “Wily Kataso” from Eclipse, a show staged in complete darkness at the 2011 Manchester International Festival. You can listen to the song "Dougou Badia," featuring Santigold, on Pitchfork now.

    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 the Dougou Badia digital EP and pick up a copy of Amadou & Mariam's previous Because / Nonesuch Records releases, head to the Nonesuch Store now.

    Journal Articles:Album ReleaseArtist News

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