The 10 Best New Albums from Around the World (January/February 2022) | Songlines
Thursday, December 16, 2021

The 10 Best New Albums from Around the World (January/February 2022)

Featuring outstanding new releases from Orquestra Afro-Brasileira, Ustad Saami, Tararua, Hannah James & Toby Kuhn, and more. Tracks from each of these albums are included on the free cover-CD with the January/February issue

Songlines Best New Albums Jan Feb 2022

Rizomagic

Voltaje Raizal Disasters by Choice

A rhizome is an underground plant stem; recent scientific investigation has shown it to be a secret communications pathway for entire ecosystems. A cool concept, then, for a cool Colombian duo, whose debut sprouts and bursts and secretes all manner of rhythms and rootsy concoctions over its nine tracks... Chris Moss

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Orquestra 
Afro-Brasileira

80 Años Day Dreamer

It’s not every day you get semi-legendary Beastie Boys producer/collaborator Mario Caldato Jr digging up a long-lost Afro-Brazilian ensemble from the 1940s and dragging their sole remaining member back into the studio. The result is striking, a big band Braz-jazz voodoo with Atlantis-deep baritone vocals so out of place, space and time they might be Paul Robeson reincarnated as a Candomblé priest... Brendon Griffin

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Laurel Premo

Golden Loam Laurel Premo Sound

Using fingerstyle electric guitar and lap steel, Michigan-based multi-instrumentalist Premo plumbs layers of harmonic ambience, granular textural effects and the irresistible sway of the blues while staying true to a melodic core derived from original compositions and arrangements of traditional roots/folk repertoire... Doug DeLoach

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Spell Songs

Spell Songs II: Let the Light In Quercus Records/Thirty Tigers

You might just catch the diminutive cheep of the wren at the end of ‘St Kilda Wren’ – blink and you’ll miss it. Which is precisely what this project aims to highlight: the beauty, the significance, the magnetism, the fragility of the natural world, as illustrated by the formidable partnership of Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris in their books, The Lost Words and The Lost Spells... Sophie Parkes

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Ebo Krdum

Diversity Supertraditional

There are different influences dotted throughout: some Arabic, some reggae, and a pleasant thread of Scandinavian folk courtesy of performance and production from Swedish folk legends including Ale and Anna Möller... Jim Hickson

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

The Brother Moves On

Tolika Mtoliki Matsuli Music

A dozen years after forming as a performance art and music ensemble in Johannesburg, The Brother Moves On releases one of 2021’s essential records. Tolika Mtoliki (Interpret Interpreter) is a masterclass in making protest music – as much against the ethical failures of the times as the commodification of music itself – by reshaping the sonic terrain of the past and thrusting it towards the future... Diane Coetzer

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Emre Gültekin

In Tribute to Talip Özkan Seyir Muzik/Uren Production

Turkish saz player Emre Gültekin has recorded two duo albums with Armenian duduk player Vardan Hovanissian (their Karin was a Top of the World in March 2019, #145). But this is his solo debut and it’s a tribute to one of his teachers, the superb saz player Talip Özkan (1939-2010)... Simon Broughton

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Hannah James 
& Toby Kuhn

Sleeping Spirals Jigdoll Records

In Toby Kuhn, Hannah has found not a simple accompanist, but a musical soulmate, where experimentation and playfulness in collaboration is the objective. As European wanderers, the melodies they bring together are from a vast, diverse wellspring; as musicians, they play with form and expectation... Sophie Parkes

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Tararua

Bird Like Men Oro Records

While it’s difficult to discern which of the three gifted taonga pūoro players is featured on individual tracks, Fraser’s virtuosic talents are evident throughout. And the fusing of the bowed strings, taonga pūoro and choir-like vocals on ‘Hinepūkohuraki’ is totally mesmerising. This evocative ensemble is breaking new-old ground in a very creative way. Truly magnificent... Seth Jordan

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

Ustad Saami

East Pakistan Sky Glitterbeat Records

Following releases on Glitterbeat Records in 2019 and 2020, here is another outstanding recording from the Pakistani master surti singer Ustad Saami. Although related to the much better-known genre of qawwali, surti is perhaps more contemplative and restrained. The only reasonable comparison I can think of is with the performances of dhrupad singers; there is the same deeply serious and systematic exploration of sound, imbued with the same deep sense of spirituality... Maria Lord

Read the review in the Songlines Reviews Database

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