Born in the inspired mind of London’s own Malian rhythm buff, vocalist and band leader Hans Sutton, Bamako Overground have been busily forging a curious new sound. The trio are irresistibly seduced by the music of West Africa, blending its influences overtly and covertly with their own carefully-selected flavours to settle into mystical grooves and rocking desert blues.
Hans plays his distinctive hybrid drum kit, which brought Mandé styles to worldly pop folksters such as Nick Mulvey and Cocos Lovers. He’s flanked by the sparkling guitar of Yaaba Funk co-founder Tobias Sturmer and the hypnotic, heavy bass of folk maestro and Woodburner impresario Theo Bard.
Deep and soulful rhythms meet soaring melodies, while crunching three-part vocal harmonies speak of pilgrimage and placelessness, spinning allegories in Bamanankan and English to complete a brew that’s compelling and utterly unique.
Debut single ‘The Swallow’s Tale’ is quite possibly the most delightful rhythmic folk tale you’ll have heard for some time, with a beautifully hand-drawn animated video from May Kindred Boothby and a promise of more ‘tales’ to follow later in the year Bamako Overground honour the traditions of African music with such abundant joy that it is only right that they go on to become a huge success. Some live dates are below, which you’ll not want to miss as they are as compelling live as on record rewarding each listener with their spiritual Gris Gris grooves, psychedelic desert blues and mystical melodies. Watch here.