Tal National Zoy Zoy on LP
Tal National reached international acclaim with 2013’s Kaani, their first release outside of Niger, having spent more than a decade criss-crossing their native country on dirt pathways through the Sahara, playing epic five-hour sets, seven days a week, selling their albums on street corners and roundabouts. In the process, they became Niger’s most popular band, with songs constantly blasted on national TV and cell phones. On Kaani, Western audiences and critics embraced the band’s singular and finely-honed sound. The Guardian praised “their full-tilt approach, and hypnotic intensity”; whilst Songlines wrote of “a rich, hybrid sound that draws on familiar West African elements to create something rewardingly fresh and different.”
The dazzling follow-up, Zoy Zoy is a distillation of Tal National’s traditional roots and tireless drive into pure joy and celebration. The songs are intense yet sophisticated, combining original numbers with new arrangements of West African folk songs. The band speaks French, but use the American expression "very rock and roll" quite seriously, implying their awareness that the loud guitars and bewildering rhythmic complexity separate them from their West African peers. Using as a backbone the sound that Tal National breathe - sheer electricity and stunning virtuosity weaving a web of melody and rhythm, the flesh of the album is a response to Tal National's growing stature at home in Niger and their exposure to audiences in other parts of the world.
“The music keeps leaping ahead with one surprise after another: guitar parts that align and diverge and reconfigure, drumming that pounces on offbeats. The patterns are crisp, complex and tireless, but Tal National is no funk machine: It’s alive." - John Pareles, NY Times
Tal National Zoy Zoy Track Listing:
1. Zoy Zoy
4. Say Wata Gaya