Amatssou (Wedge)

Contact Sam McAllister about Tinariwen

Tinariwen, the pioneering, Grammy-winning Tuareg collective, unveil their enthralling new single, “Anemouhagh,” from their forthcoming album, Amatssou, out next Friday, May 19th on Wedge. “Anemouhagh” continues along Tinariwen’s electric trail of singles — the “anthemic” (Paste) “Kek Alghalm” and lead single “Tenere Den,” which was praised by The FADER as “a continuation of both the desert blues sound they pioneered and the revolutionary message they’ve always held close” — and offers another captivating glimpse into Amatssou.


Later this month, Tinariwen will embark on their first US tour since 2019, beginning on May 27th at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and including stops in Los Angeles, New York and more. A list of full dates are below and tickets are on sale now.


For decades, Tinariwen have remained ambassadors for the Tuareg people, a way of life in tune with the natural world, which is under threat as never before. Throughout Amatssou — the legendary collective’s ninth studio album — Tinariwen set out to explore the shared sensibilities between their trademark desert blues and the vibrant country music of rural America. Recorded in Djanet, an oasis in the desert of southern Algeria located in Tassili N’Ajjer National Park, with additional production on two tracks by Daniel Lanois (Brian Eno, U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson), Amatssou finds Tinariwen’s signature snaking guitar lines and hypnotic grooves seamlessly co-existing alongside banjos, fiddles and pedal steel.


Though Tuareg culture is as old as that of ancient Greece or Rome, the songs of Amatssou speak to the current and often tough reality of Tuareg life today. Unsurprisingly, there are impassioned references to Mali’s ongoing political and social turmoil. Full of poetic allegory, the lyrics call for unity and freedom. There are songs of struggle and resistance with oblique references to the recent desperate political upheavals in Mali and the increasing power of the Salafists. Tinariwen’s message has never sounded more urgent and compelling than it does on Amatssou.