Tinariwen Return With New Album: Hear Our Exclusive Premiere of “Toumast Tincha”

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 2 2013 9:00 AM

Tinariwen Return With New Album: Hear Our Exclusive Premiere of “Toumast Tincha”

Mise en page 1
The album cover for Emmaar.

Credit: Antoine Carlier

True to their heritage as Tuareg nomads, the members of the band Tinariwen have never stopped moving. Since 2001, when the band began to build an audience outside of their desert homeland in northern Mali, they’ve found more and more popularity around the world with their blend of American rock with Arab and African music. In 2007, in the Malian capital of Bamako, they recorded Aman Iman, a collection that Slate said made the case that “Tinariwen is one of finest bands on Earth.” In 2011, they released Tassili, which was named after the Algerian border region where it was recorded, and it won the Grammy for Best World Music Album.

Now Tinariwen (whose name means deserts) is back with another album, recorded in another desert. Emmaar was recorded in Joshua Tree National Park, where the band decided to set up in order to avoid instability in their home country. Slate is excited to help announce the new album and premiere the new track “Toumast Tincha (The People Have Been Sold Out),” along with the song’s music video.

Advertisement

Though it was recorded far from Mali, “Toumast Tincha” finds the band looking back at their native country’s troubles. “The ideals of the people have been sold cheap, my friends,” sings bassist Eyadou ag Leche, “A peace imposed by force is bound to fail/ And gives way to hatred.” As ever, the sound is at once familiar and distant, with the band’s signature electric guitars winding in on themselves over hand drums. The video shows band founder Ibrahim ag Alhabib driving through the desert (“Is it the Sahara?” you might wonder at first, “Or is it Joshua Tree?”), before settling once again by another campfire and some more music. In other words, the band is on the move again, trying to make another home.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

A Simple Way to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.