SOURCE: Atlantic Records

Atlantic Records

February 26, 2015 11:07 ET

Songhoy Blues Join Atlantic Records Family; Debut Album, "MUSIC IN EXILE," Out Now

Acclaimed Malian Band Sets North American Live Dates, Including U.S. Debut at NYC's Mercury Lounge on March 9th and High-Profile Shows Supporting Alabama Shakes, Including March 11th and 12th at NYC's Beacon Theatre

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 26, 2015) - Atlantic Records has announced its signing of Songhoy Blues. The acclaimed Malian band released its much-anticipated debut album, entitled "MUSIC IN EXILE," today in the U.S. Buy the album here:

Produced by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Marc-Antoine Moreau (Amadou & Mariam, K'naan), "MUSIC IN EXILE" marks the arrival of a powerful and truly unique new band. Though their music bears elements of contemporary rock and hip hop, at its heart is Songhoy Blues' deep attachment to the homegrown songs and dances of Mali's Songhoy people as well as such iconic West African guitar heroes as Baba Salah and Ali Farka Touré. Songs like "Irganda" and "Al Hassidi Terei" see Songhoy Blues blending the traditional and the modern, the homegrown and the foreign, the youthful and the ancient.

"MUSIC IN EXILE" has already begun accruing early rave reviews, with The Guardian hailing it as "Talking Heads funky... growlingly bluesy... contemplative and hypnotic... A triumph," while Mojo wrote in its 4 star review that, "Songhoy Blues' desert R&B is incredibly rousing and intense...conjuring a freedom and thrilling abandonment in its hypnotic shuffle boogie and punky blues rocks riffs." NME wrote, "This resulting debut is a masterpiece of desert blues, blending American guitar licks with Malian groove. 'Soubour' wouldn't sound out of place on a Black Keys record..."

Songhoy Blues will herald "MUSIC IN EXILE" with a series of much anticipated North American live dates, beginning with their first-ever U.S. show, set for Monday, March 9th at New York City's famed Mercury Lounge. The band -- who recently supported Damon Albarn at London's Royal Albert Hall -- will then join Alabama Shakes for two triumphant nights at NYC's Beacon Theatre, slated for Wednesday, March 11th and Thursday, March 12th as well as at Chicago's The Chicago Theatre Saturday, March 14th and Milwaukee's Riverside Theatre Sunday, March 15th. Additional North American tour dates will be announced soon.

Once among the most prominent of Mali's many ethnic groups, the Songhoy now live largely on the margins of the West African nation. Nonetheless, the Songhoy people retain a fierce pride in their history, beliefs, and traditional music. Hailing from the heart of Gao, on the banks of the Niger River, singer Oumar Touré and bassist Aliou Touré grew up obsessed with hip hop, R&B, and classic rock like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. They found a kindred spirit and musical brother in guitarist Garba Touré (son of Oumar Touré, long term percussionist in Ali Farka Touré's band). When growing unrest in the north of Mali forced the young men and their families to take refuge in the southern town of Bamako, they decided to turn crisis into opportunity by forming a band. They enlisted drummer Nathanial "Nat" Dembele and baptized their band Songhoy Blues in celebration of their displaced people and culture.

The ambitious young band were soon a fixture on the Bamako live music scene. Prompted by local studio owner, in September 2013 Songhoy Blues reached out to producer/manager Marc-Antoine Moreau, in town to scout new talent for Damon Albarn's extraordinary Africa Express project. An audition followed and Songhoy Blues were invited to record a track with Nick Zinner, acclaimed producer and guitarist in NYC's one and only Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The song, entitled "Soubour," proved a highlight of 2013's critically applauded "AFRICA EXPRESS PRESENTS...MAISON DES JEUNES."

In December 2013, Songhoy Blues made their London live debut at the album's launch event, returning for dates including the key tastemaker Visions Festival, two sell-out shows at London's 'Barfly' and 'Oslo' Rock venues, a European tour supporting Julian Casablancas & The Voidz and also a support for Damon Albarn at his historic Royal Albert Hall show. Songhoy Blues are also the first rock act to be featured on BBC Radio's 1,2,3, 4 and 6 stations.

In addition to their increasingly busy live schedule, Songhoy Blues also appear in an eagerly anticipated new film documenting Malian musicians' fight with the extremist forces that have seen music banned in much of the country. They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile will have its world premiere next month at Austin's South By Southwest Film Festival 2015 - an exclusive trailer is streaming now at The screenings will also feature a Q&A sessions with Songhoy Blues.

For more, please see and

(Atlantic Records)
Release Date: February 23rd 

1. Soubour
2. Irganda
3. Al Hassidi Terei
4. Jolie
5. Desert Melodie
6. Mali
7. Sekou Oumarou
8. Nick
9. Al Tchere Bele
10. Wayei
11. Petit Metier

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