Niger’s Most Famous Live Band Goes Full Throttle On “Tenere”

Tal National share a striking first glimpse of their forthcoming LP on FatCat Records, Zoy Zoy.

March 09, 2015

In a profile for All Things Considered, NPR called Tal National the most popular live act in Niger, describing how they're known for playing five-hour sets, multiple nights a week. That was written a year and a half ago, and if new track "Tenere" is any indication, the group is far from burnt out. Anchored by a front-and-center bass groove and flanked by dual unfurling guitars, the track is most effective in that its various parts move too fast for you to really be able to keep track, a lot like the tempo-pushing genres of UK jungle and Chicago footwork. After a quick, teasing opening riff, the song heads straight to full throttle mode, which proves an interesting soundtrack to the image evoked by the track's title: the Tree of Tenere, which used to stand in isolation in the desert that shares its name. Almeida, the group's leader, gave The FADER a little backstory via email: "The tree was an important landmark for Tuareg salt caravans and other travelers," he said. "It was destroyed by a truck driver in the '70s, and now a metal sculpture takes its place." Stream the track below, be on the lookout for the group's forthcoming album Zoy Zoy, due April 14th on FatCat Records, and if you can, catch the group on tour in the U.S. this spring (dates below.)

Tour dates:

March 27 - Dearborn, MI - Arab American National Museum
March 28 - London, ON - Aeolian Hall
March 29 - Toronto, ON - Drake Underground
March 31 - Elmira, NY - Elmira College, Gibson Theatre
April 2 - New York, NY - Pace University, Michael Schimmel Center
April 3 - Marlboro, NY- The Falcon
April 4 - Hudson, NY - Half Moon Hudson
April 7 - Burlington, VT - Nectar's
April 8 - New Haven, CT - Café Nine
April 9 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
April 10 - Somerville, MA - Johnny D's
April 11 - Portland, ME - SPACE Gallery
April 12 - Troy, NY - Sanctuary For Independent Media
April 15 - Ithaca, NY - The Haunt
April 17 - Washington, DC - Tropicalia
April 22 - Charlotte, NC - Snug Harbor
April 23 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
April 26 - Lafayette, LA - Festival International de Louisiane
April 28 - Austin, TX - Sahara Lounge
April 30 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
May 8 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
May 9 - Olympia, WA - Olympia Ballroom
May 10 - Seattle, WA - Barboza

Photo credit: Jason Creps

Posted: March 09, 2015
Niger’s Most Famous Live Band Goes Full Throttle On “Tenere”