Amadou & Mariam Announce Upcoming LP & EP

I’ve been a huge fan of Malian duo Amadou et Mariam since I discovered their 2005 album Dimanche à Bamako. The album got them a Grammy nomination (should have been a win) and they followed it up in 2009 with an album that was just as great. In 2010, I got to see them live and shoot them at the FIFA World Cup Kick-off concert in Soweto, South Africa and it was spectacular.

Now, almost three years later, they’ve announced not just an LP to be released in February but an EP coming out in the next few weeks.

Amadou & Mariam’s Folila LP and Dougou Badia EP will feature collaborations with Santigold, TV on the Radio (who also recently teamed up with Mali’s Tinariwen), Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and hip-hop artist Theophilus London. It’s obvious that their popularity has spread across the Atlantic and talented musicians on this side of the pond have been lining up to collaborate with them (much like another great West African guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, whose fantastic 2011 The Secret featured Derek Trucks, Dave Matthews, and John Scofield).

You can pre-order the Dougou Badia EP over at Nonesuch Records. While you wait for the two releases, here’s a sneak peak of the EP’s title track.

Amadou & Mariam – Dougou Badia (Feat. Santigold)

Bonus! Here’s one of my favorite tracks of their 2005 release called “Fête Au Village.” Its simple lyrics are of a poor farmer singing sweetly to his lover about taking her to village festival despite his lack of means. She responds to him over and over with a simple “and I will be the most beautiful one there for you, my love.”

Amadou & Mariam – Fête au village

Finally, if you are interested in discovering more great music from West Africa, check out my post from early last year featuring some of my favorites.