New issue (November 2016) on sale now!

Posted on September 30th, 2016 in News, Recent posts by .

Songlines November Issue


Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali, Jordanian sibling trio The Khoury Project, Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band, Lemn Sissay’s guest playlist and more

The November (#122) issue is on sale in the UK from today. Every edition comes with two free covermount CDs. The Top of the World compilation CD includes the tracks from the best new albums reviewed in the issue and an exclusive guest playlist from poet Lemn Sissay. There is also an exclusive 16-track Dutch Delta Sounds sampler, which highlights music from around the world that is rooted in the Netherlands.

On the Top of the World CD you’ll discover new tracks from international collective Kefaya, voodoo-funk explorers Vaudou Game, Austin-based chicha masters Money Chicha, and award-winning folk duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker.

Subscribe today and claim a Top of the World album for free!

Noura Mint Seymali

Noura Mint Seymali – The Mauritanian singer raising the profile of her country’s music
The Khoury Project – The Jordanian band of brothers coming to the UK
Martin Green’s Flit – The accordionist’s multimedia project about migration
Eliza Carthy – Folk’s newest big band about to hit the road
Ronald Snijders – Suriname’s kaseko flute ambassador

Elza Soares

A Beginner’s Guide to Elza Soares – She may be one of Brazil’s most famous samba singers, but her career and life have been a series of ups and downs.
Lemn Sissay – The poet and broadcaster has been honoured with an MBE, won awards and is chancellor of Manchester University. We talked to Sissay at WOMAD about discovering Ethiopia, his love of music and the artists he connects with
Joseph Tawadros & the Egyptian oud – The Cairo-born, Australia-raised oud player is now making his career in the UK.

PLUS! Reviews of the latest CD and world cinema releases.

Click here to buy the new issue.

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New Apple Music playlist: Banned Tracks – a story of censored music

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 in Recent posts by .


Governments have been censoring music for centuries. In fact, the practice reaches back to ancient Greece when Plato wrote : “Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them.” Clearly, the influential philosopher demanded a strong control over an art which stirs emotions and sways populations.

Since 1998, the Copenhagen-based NGO, Freemuse, has been monitoring and denouncing censorship abuses of an artform that the United Nations deems is a basic human right. It has revealed how Afghanistan under the Taliban enforced a blanket ban on instrumental music, while the United States under George Bush pressured media outlets into not playing dozens of songs after 9/11.

These compositions reflect the remarkable diversity of banned songs in the past 50 years, as well as the range of governments abusing their authority to silence musicians. Their motivation is usually political. But an important number have bowed to religious, social and societal pressure to silence these artists. Beware: this list is just the tip of an ever-growing iceberg. For more information and examples, go to This playlist was compiled by journalist and Freemuse vice-chair Daniel Brown for Songlines.  The photo of Bachar Mar-Khalife was taken by Lee Jeffries.

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New Apple Music playlist: Forgotten England

Posted on September 16th, 2016 in Features, Recent posts by .


English folk music draws from centuries of folklore and stories, from mystical deeply rural tales to tragic tales of love and loss. Here some of the best English folk artists of the new century tell tales from older times: evocative and powerful story-songs that take the listener into a long-past and distant land. (Playlist by Tim Woodhall for Songlines).

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New Apple Music playlist: Women of Hip-Hop

Posted on September 16th, 2016 in Features, Recent posts by .


Women in the world of hip-hop music and culture have long struggled with marginalisation, misogyny, objectification and abuse. ‘Macho’ themes common to the genre create an atmosphere where it is hard for independent female voices that don’t cater to or imitate their male counterparts to break through and gain success. With that said, there remains a rich history of women rapping and helping push the music and culture forward, often providing new perspectives, ideas and dynamics.

Below is a selection of contemporary women rappers from around the world. Spanning from Senegal to Guatemala, Libya to London, this global roster of female MCs continues in the footsteps of legends like MC Lyte and Lauryn Hill, helping to redefine women’s role in hip-hop. 

Playlist by Jordan Barnes for Songlines Magazine. (Photo of Sister Fa by Michael Mann)

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