Born out of an impromptu studio session in New York, Touristes brings together Malian singer and guitarist Vieux Farka Touré with American vocalist Julia Easterlin. Written in a white-hot burst of inpsiration in the space of a few hours, the album examines their respective musical roots through a series of original songs and covers (including Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’ and Fever Ray’s ‘I’m Not Done’).
‘A B’ashiye (It’s Alright)’ was an instant standout for us, giving us a mere five seconds to get acquainted before Touré’s commanding guitar work grabs you. This is one of the album’s most powerful illustrations of his world-renowned reputation as the ‘Hendrix of the Sahara’ and Easterlin makes no qualms in letting it take centre stage, offering a modest wordless vocal backdrop. Electric riffs combine with an uplifting rhythm, while Touré’s and Easterlin engange in a playful call and response of the title phrase. A collision of contemporary and traditional sounds, ‘A B’ashiye’ provides a moment in the album that is both warming and haunting in equal measure.