Headed to Detroit's Trinosophes, Noura Mint Seymali is the Mauritanian psych-rock band we need now

Staff Pick


  • Laurent Preiur

It’s not every day that we’re presented with agile and lush female-fronted psych-blues out of Northwest Africa, but we’re sure glad Noura Mint Seymali is doing the damn thing. Hailing from Mauritania, vocalist Seymali comes from a long line of gifted singers and storytellers, and wields a Mauritanian harp called an ardin.

Formed in 2004, Seymali’s four-piece — which includes Ousmane Touré on bass, drummer Matthew Tinari, and Seymali’s husband, Jeiche Ould Chighaly, on guitar — has become internationally revered for its emotive blend of traditional Mauritanian music and roof-lifting psych-rock with curious hints of Canadian prog-rockers, Rush. Anyway, Seymali and her bandmates are still backing 2016’s Arbina, the group’s fourth record and second international release, which landed at No. 1 on the European World Music Charts. Sung in Arabic, Seymali’s music does not isolate non-Arabic-speaking listeners — rather, she creates a universal and complex contemporary sonic conversation.

Doors open at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, at Trinosophes; 1464 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-778-9258; trinosophes.com. Tickets are $15-$20.

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