Tinariwen share new song “Assawt” — listen

The bold, rhythmic song addresses the "Tamashek women searching for their freedom"


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After being forced out of their native Mali by jihadi forces and human traffickers, the Tuareg musicians of Tinariwen found shelter in Joshua Tree National Park. There, they recorded their 2014 album Emmaar and this year’s Elwan, which will drop on February 10th via Anti-. Now, Flood Magazine has premiered a new song from that album, “Assawt”, which addresses the Saharan women being oppressed under the land’s current regime.

Gripping yet anxious, the song is driven by the group’s hypnotic guitars and rhythmic percussion, which underscore emphatic gang vocals. Listen to the song below:

A press release from the band provides an English translation of the song’s lyrics:

“That’s the voice
of the Tamashek women
Searching for their freedom.
Those are the thoughts
of the old women
Living in a Sahara devoid of water,
Desiccated and miserable,
My wish is for it
to stop being subservient.
This is a message for those
Who toil for the revolution.”

The Grammy-winning group recruited an impressive group of collaborators for Elwan, including Kurt Vile, Mark Lanegan, Matt Sweeney, and Alain Johannes. Clearly inspired by the political strife of their homeland, Tinariwen describes the album as a “road record,” in that “ each song [evokes] a land that can no longer be found.”

Tinariwen will be sharing Elwan on a North American tour in 2017. Check out the album’s track list and tour dates below:

Elwan Tracklist:
01. Tiwàyyen
02. Sastanàqqàm
03. Nizzagh Ijbal
04. Hayati
05. Ittus
06. Ténéré Tàqqàl
07. Imidiwàn N-Àkall-In
08. Talyat
09. Assàwt
10. Arhegh Ad Annàgh
11. Nànnuflày
12. Intro Flute Fog Edaghan
13. Fog Edaghàn

Tinariwen Tour Dates:
03/30 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
03/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
04/01 – Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre
04/02 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
04/04 – Seattle, WA @ Benaroya Hall
04/05 – Vancouver, BC @ Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
04/07 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
04/08 – Denver, CO @ Swallow Hill Music Association
04/10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
04/11 – Chicago, IL @ Old Town School of Folk Music
04/12 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
04/13 – Montreal, QC @ Place des Arts
04/14 – Boston, MA @ Royale
04/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
04/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
04/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
04/19 – Washington, DC @ Barns at Wolf Trap
04/21 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Carnegie of Homestead Hall