Legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen and Brit-pop jack-of-all-trades Damon Albarn definitely "go back" a ways. In 2000, Albarn, frontman of Blur, gave a shout-out to Allen in the lyrics to the band's single "Music Is My Radar," singing that Tony Allen "really got me dancin'." That bit of public admiration may have sparked their first collaboration, "Every Season," the opening track to 2002's Homecooking. Since then they've worked together on the albums The Good, the Bad & the Queen (2007) and Rocket Juice & the Moon (2012), as well as the 2012 edition of the concert series Africa Express, which fused music from Europe, America, and Africa.
And here they are again on "Go Back," which features Albarn on vocals and keyboards. It's the first listen to Allen's upcoming album, Film of Life, due out in October via Jazz Village, and you'll hear nice touches of brass in addition to Allen's signature beats and Albarn's crooning in this hypnotic ballad. It adds up to a great listen as well as a political message -- the song is an "homage to the African refugees who ended up on the Italian island of Lampedusa," according to Tony Allen's YouTube Channel, referring to the humanitarian crises from overcrowding at the island, where many Africans and Syrians come to enter Europe.
Whether you're listening for the political message or just great music, be sure to check it out. Also, take a look at the teaser below to October's Film of Life, and stay tuned for more news from the album. For Damon Albarn's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.