By the time Tal National reached international acclaim with 2013s Kaani, the bands first release outside of Niger, they had spent more than a decade crisscrossing their native country, usually on dirt pathways through the Sahara, playing epic five-hour sets, seven days a week, selling their CDs on street corners and roundabouts. In the process, they became Nigers most popular band, with songs constantly blasted on national TV and cell phones everywhere. Following FatCats release of Kaani, Western audiences and critics quickly embraced the bands singular and finely-honed sound. NPR were hit by the bands tightness and fiery energy; The Guardian praised their full-tilt approach, and hypnotic intensity; whilst Songlines wrote of a rich, hybrid sound that draws on familiar West African elements to create something rewardingly fresh and different. FatCat released the dazzling follow-up, Zoy Zoy, on April 13th 2015, once again to great critical acclaim, with shouts from Pitchfork, Uncut, Afropop Worldwide, FADER, The Quietus and a cover feature on fRoots. With each heaping of praise, they all seemed to echo NPRs assessment that Theres no way you wont dance to this one!.
The music is colorful and bright and dizzying. It recalls the energy and wall-of-sound quality of Konono No 1, except more frenzied and texturally varied Tal Nationals ability to weave together all these thematic and musical elements with unflagging speed and energy is breathtaking.