The much celebrated Malian singer, songwriter, and musician Rokia Traoré has received global praise for her fourth and latest album, Tchamantche. Here, her voice beautifully bears lyrics in French, English, and Bambara, a Malian language.
In one song, she might start with a beat-box, then run her voice deep along base tones toward rapid cascades of bright, bluesy rhythms. Using traditional Malian instruments alongside the electric guitar, Traoré creates a genre of music that is as modern as new rock, while retaining a distinctly Malian sound. Tchamantche is an album that unfolds itself slowly, revealing a deeply personal—and deeply accessible—compilation of sound and history.