Release Date: Jun 16, 2017
Record label: Fat Possum
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, International, African Traditions
You've got to applaud a band who go above and beyond just to be able to write, play and record their own songs. After guitarist Garba Touré's home in northern Mali was occupied by jihadists with a violent hatred of music, he fled south to Bamako, the capital, and formed Songhoy Blues with three other musicians. It is no wonder, then, that 'Bamako', the second track on their second studio album, Résistance, is so full of life.
F ormed after a jihadi incursion forced them into exile, this north Malian guitar quartet has won many friends since their 2015 debut, wowing international audiences with their mix of desert blues, funk, rock and, well, whatever takes their fancy. They have Iggy Pop rumbling away on Sahara, for example, warning us that "there ain't no pizza" there, and south London grime MC Elf Kid struggling with the sinuous horns of Mali Nord. They hit a James Brown groove on Bamako, use fiddle on the Ali Farka-style Hometown, and let loose a children's choir on One Colour, a delightful closer to a joyous, eclectic album.