One of the great pleasures of our year has been working with Tinariwen, the North African collective whose album Elwan did well at both Radio 200 and the World chart. In recent years, the group’s homeland in a Saharan mountain range has been transformed into a conflict zone. While the songs on Elwan evoke those cherished deserts of home, they were recorded in California and Morocco and feature guest performances from Kurt Vile, Matt Sweeney, Alain Johannes, Mark Lanegan and more. Mojo wrote of the album, “This yearning, Realpolitik-infused road movie of an album is one to point to the next time somebody pronounces there are no decent protest songs any more.” Pitchfork said the band “can provide exultation and encouragement like few other ensembles,” and The Line of Best Fit said the album demonstrates an “undeniable swagger and an unfettered attitude of resistance.”
Now, we want to congratulate the group on their nomination for Best World Music Album at the 60th Grammy Awards, which will take place at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 28. The group previously won the category in 2012 for their album Tassili.
Stream Elwan on Apple Music or Spotify below.