On July 26, 2023, Niger’s democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown in a coup, which prevented Mdou Moctar from safely returning home to Niger. The military coup happened shortly after they had completed Funeral For Justice, their newly announced album due out May 3, as explained in a press release. It was also revealed that the album was “recorded at the close of two years spent touring the globe following the release of 2021 breakout Afrique Victime [and] captures the Nigerien quartet in ferocious form.”

Mdou Moctar released the rocking title track on Wednesday, February 28. It delivered an explicitly clear message: “Dear African leaders, hear my burning question / Why does your ear only heed France and America? / They misled you into giving up your lands.”

“This album is really different for me,” Moctar, lead singer and guitarist, said in a statement. “Now the problems of terrorist violence are more serious in Africa. When the US and Europe came here, they said they’re going to help us, but what we see is really different. They never help us to find a solution.”

Bassist and producer Mikey Coltun added, “Mdou Moctar has been a strong anti-colonial band ever since I’ve been a part of it. France came in, f*cked up the country, then said, ‘You’re free.’ And they’re not.”

Moctar added, “I don’t support the coup, but I never in my life liked France in my country. I don’t hate France or French people. I don’t hate American people either, but I don’t support their manipulative policies — what they do in Africa. In 2023, we want to be free, we need to smile, you understand?”

These nuanced sentiments will be thoroughly unpacked across Funeral For Justice.

Watch the “Funeral For Justice” video above. Below, check out the album’s cover art and tracklist, as well as Mdou Moctar’s upcoming tour dates.

Courtesy of Mdou Moctar

1. “Funeral for Justice”
2. “Imouhar”
3. “Takoba”
4. “Sousoume”
5. “Imagerhan”
6. “Tchinta”
7. “Djallo #1”
8. “Oh France”
9. “Modern Slaves”

041/4 — Indio, CA @ Coachella Music and Arts Festival
04/21 — Indio, CA @ Coachella Music and Arts Festival
06/05 — Atlantic City, NJ @ Anchor Rock Club
06/06 — Harrisburg, PA @ The Abbey Bar at ABC
06/07 — Richmond, VA @ Cheers Brown’s Island
06/08 — Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom
06/09 — Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
06/11 — Charleston, SC @ Pour House
06/12 — Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
06/13 — Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
06/14 — Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
06/15 — Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
06/18 — Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
06/19 — Detroit, MI @ Magic Bag
06/20 — Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
06/21 — Buffalo, NY @ Asbury Hall
06/22 — Greenfield, MA @ Green River Music Festival
06/23 — Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
06/26 — Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
06/27 — Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
06/28 — Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
07/03 — London, UK @ Electric Brixton
07/07 — Beuningen, NL @ Down the Rabbit Hole
08/19 — Berlin, DE @ Festaal Kreuzberg
08/20 — Leipzig, DE @ UT Kreuzberg
08/21 — Munich, DE @ Ampere
08/22 — Milan, IT @ Magnolia Summer Stage
08/25 — Paris, FR @ Petit Bain
08/26 — Antwerp, BE @ OLT Revierenhof
08/27 — Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
08/30 — Dorset, UK @ End Of The Road Festival
08/31 — Manchester, UK @ Manchester Psych Fest
09/01 — Birmingham, UK @ Moseley Folk Festival
09/02 — Glasgow, UK @ Saint Luke’s
09/03 — Newcastle, UK @ Boiler Shop
09/04 — Leeds, UK @ The Brudenell Social Club

Funeral For Justice is out 5/3 via Matador Records. Find more information here.

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