Blog November 11, 2020
"Badala": Or Dude, Songhoy Blues Got Some Fuzz Pedals and Stuff

I knew this was going to happen the minute they started hanging out with that Iggy Pop. The new single from Songhoy Blues, “Badala,” opens with a buzzsaw of Stooge-grade fuzz from guitarist Garba Toure, before the band’s heavy-but-fleet rhythm section comes pounding in, and the Malian Afro-rock band settles into a heavy groove.

With a video out today, “Badala” is the first single from Songhoy Blues’ new album, Optimisme.

Afropop’s Banning Eyre reviewed Optimisme, saying, “[Songhoy Blues] surfs the interface between Malian pentatonic boogie and hard-core rock with a new level of sophistication and power, and when combined with the tough lyrics here, the effect is riveting. Whether expressing punk defiance—'Badala (Don’t Give a S %&*)'—celebrating rebel heroes of the past—'Assadja (Heroes)'—or pledging blood to keep Mali unified in the face of recent conflicts—'Fey Fey (Division)'—this band puts muscle behind its messages.”

“Badala” was “written from the perspective of a woman freed from the domination and oppression of her man, and the men who dominate the West African country,” the band states. They flexed a bit of independence on the single too, for the first time co-producing and co-directing the Fury Road-esque carnival of a video.

At a time when we could all use a good shout, Songhoy Blues delivers once again.

Afropop Weigh in on Afropop's digital future and download an exclusive concert from the archives—free!