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Tuesday April 09, 2013

From Nonesuch

Nonesuch Records to Release Singer/Songwriter Rokia Traoré’s “Beautiful Africa” April 9; Pre-Order to Download Title Track Now

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré’s Beautiful Africa will be released on April 9, 2013, by Nonesuch Records (worldwide for the first time). The record was produced by English musician John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse) and recorded at Toybox Studios in Bristol, UK. Its lyrics are sung in the Malian–born Traoré’s native languages of French and Bambara, as well as some English. The complete track listing is below. Beautiful Africa is available for pre-order now in the Nonesuch Store and includes an instant download of the title track. Traoré was the first artist to be announced for the 2013 Glastonbury festival line-up; additional festival and tour dates will be announced shortly.

The Guardian has premiered the title track, which the paper’s Michael Cragg calls “brilliant.” The song “finds Traoré lamenting the effects of war and conflict on her homeland in her native languages of French and Bambara,” writes Cragg, “while the last verse is spat out angrily in English (‘Yet my faith does not know failure’). With a voice that can flit between beautifully soothing to uncontrollably impassioned in an instant, it’s a stirring plea for calm which ends with the line: ‘Lord, give us wisdom, give us foresight.’” Read more and listen to the track at guardian.co.uk.

Pitchfork described Traoré’s most recent record, 2009’s Tchamantché, as “a guitar album of a particularly understated bent … hauntingly spare yet ridiculously well-defined, the timbre and tone of every string presented in perfect resolution.” And the BBC World Service called it “One of the best albums of the year. An absolute stunner.” Tchamantché also won a Victoires de la Musique (the equivalent of a Grammy Award in France) and a Songlines Artist of the Year Award for Traoré.

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