First of all, Tinariwen are a desert band, only certain aspects of which the western music industry can ever hope to capture and present.
Tinariwen existed long before any of their albums were recorded and they still exist quite distinct from their discographic dimension. So the best Tinariwen album doesn’t exist. But it’s still worth trying to go and find it.
Today they have shared “Zawal”, a new song from their forthcoming ninth studio albumAmadjar. Listen to it HERE. Written by Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni, “Zawal” is about witnessing the first solar eclipse. Most people are terrified and believe it is the last judgement, but the narrator remains unconcerned and keeps riding his dromedary across the desert.
Amadjar is a nomadic album, recorded in a natural setting. It is as close as you can get to the ‘soul’ of Tinariwen, a group of musicians that in every sense exist far-beyond their 17-year tenure and extensive discography of critically acclaimed albums. Lyrically and thematically, the album explores the continuing political, social, humanitarian and environmental problems faced in their home country of Mali and continues Tinariwen’s pursuit to highlight the plight and issues of their people through their music.
Once recorded, a host of Western musicians added instrumentation including violin fromWarren Elllis of the Bad Seeds, mandolin and charango courtesy of Micah Nelson, and guitars from Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O)))), Cass McCombs and Rodolphe Burger. Jack White’s engineer Joshua Vance Smith mixed the album.
Amadjar means ‘the unknown visitor’ in Tamashek, the one who seeks hospitality and who’s condemned to an inner exile, within a territory or within himself; just like the members of Tinariwen, who feel at home on the journey, around the fire with a few immutable songs. The best Tinariwen album will never be. But Amadjar is more essential than all the others.
Tinariwen will embark on a US headlining tour this fall that includes dates at NYC’s Webster Hall, Austin’s Paramount Theatre and Chicago’s Thalia Hall as well as a performance at Los Angeles’s Hollywood Bowl with Vampire Weekend; all upcoming dates are listed below.
9/12 – Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre
9/14 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall
9/16 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
9/17 – Winston-Salem, NC – The Ramkat
9/19 – Washington D.C. – Lincoln Theatre
9/20 – Boston, MA – Royale
9/21 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
9/22 – North Adams, MA – Freshgrass Festival
9/23 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
9/26 – Quebec City, Canada – L’Imperial Bell
9/27 – Montreal, Canada – QC Mtelus
9/28 – Toronto, Canada – Danforth Music Hall
9/30 – Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom
10/1 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
10/2 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl w/ Vampire Weekend
10/4 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre
10/5 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
10/7 – Seattle, WA – Taper Auditorium
10/8 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
10/9 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
10/11 – San Francisco, CA – The UC Theatre
10/12 – San Diego, CA – Belly Up
10/16 – Argenteuil, France – Le Figuier Blanc
10/17 – Quimper, France – Theatre de Cornouailles
10/20 – La Rochelle, France – La Sirene
10/23 – Paris, France – Casino de Paris
10/28 – Copenhagen, Denmark
10/29 – Aarhus, Denmark – Aarhus Train
10/30 – Dusseldorf, Germany – Zhaak
10/31 – Berlin, Germany – Festaal Kreuzberg
11/2 – Oslo, Norway – Oslo World Music Festival
11/3 – Gothenberg, Sweden – Goteborgs Symfoniker
11/4 – Stockholm, Sweden
11/11 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia
11/12 – Bristol, UK – Trinity
11/13 – Manchester, UK – Manchester Cathedral
11/14 – London, UK – Earth