20/12/2017Re-Listening To Fatoumata Diawara's Spellbinding Debut Album

As the days grow shorter and this year draws to a close, we find ourselves thoroughly enjoying the distinctly introspective listening experience that acclaimed Malian-born chanteuse Fatoumata Diawara's astonishing 2011 debut album "Fatou" (World Circuit Records) has to offer, her only solo full-length to date. Success was quick to follow, as Diawara toured with Damon Albarn's Africa Express supergroup, performed alongside Paul McCartney in London, collaborated with Herbie Hancock ("The Imagine Project"), Mulatu Astatke as well as Bobby Womack and joined forces with Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca, just to give you an idea.

But back to "Fatou", that absolutely "beguiling" (Pitchfork), "spellbinding" (The Guardian), "thrilling listen [...] that increases its hold with every play" (The Independent on Sunday) that instantly draws the listener in with an "air of wistful, understated beauty" (The Times). And indeed, when we returned to the album a few days ago, the overall smoothness of Fatoumata Diawara's vocals and guitar, backed by the mesmerising, repetitious nature of her emotional songs, were quick to make their mark. Beauty in simplicity.

So without further ado, we strongly recommend you (re)listen to the full album by either clicking on the clip below or heading over to Bandcamp.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom