EMEL MATHLOUTHI – New album ‘Everywhere We Looked Was Burning’, out 27 Sept + EU Tour Dates

June 22, 2019



Tunisian-born/New York-based experimental singer Emel Mathlouthi has announced the release of her new album Everywhere We Looked Was Burning, out September 27 via Partisan Records. 

To mark the announcement, Emel has revealed her powerful new single and video “Rescuer” (dir. by Alessandra Leone)

“The world needs rescuing, right?” Emel asks. “We need to rescue our senses because they’ve been hurt. They keep us from being completely evil. They let us awaken by poetry and art. They connect us to each other and make sense of our purpose. This song is like dawn where you can start seeing the first rays of light. It’s a moment to revive power.”

“Rescuer” is the second single to be taken from the album, following the release of Footsteps” in March. For the first time, Emel sings almost entirely in English after previously only recording a handful of tracks in the language. The choice was informed by settling in New York with her family, discovering the “essential imagery” of poets Rainer Maria Rilke, T.S. Elliot, and John Ashbury, and “thinking back to how music in English was so important to me growing up.” She initially rented a house in Woodstock, NY and set off to “write about nature as well as the beauty and struggle of these times.”

While Upstate, she ventured into the world around her and spent hours recording the woods, wind, water, and fire. In the studio, she matched this earthly choir with homemade synths, keys and percussions. With a general framework in place, she joined producers Steve Moore [Zombi] and Ryan Seaton in the Catskill Mountains to record. Sessions followed with regular collaborators Ash Koosha in London, Karim Attoumane and Amine Metani in France as the music crystallized throughout 2018 and 2019. Chris Tabron (Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, The Strokes) and Marta Salogni (Björk, M.I.A., Liars) were brought in to mix.”

Other album highlights include the vulnerable yet vital “Womb,” which welcomes a tender embrace after jagged cinematic orchestration and resonant piano. “As a mother, I have a responsibility to tell the truth as I show some kind of utopia to my kid,” she explains. “It’s a sci-fi scenario where this element brings strange harmony into the universe. I want to build a path for my children to fulfill their dreams.” 

The album culminates with a rebirth in flames on the title track and closer “Everywhere We Looked Was Burning.” “After lava, you see those little green plants,” she says. “The music is not only about the bad things happening. There has to be something positive in the aftermath.” In the end, Emel realizes her own power for change.

Emel’s last album Ensen in 2017 was produced with Valgeir Sigurðson (Sigur Ros, Feist, Bjork), and earned profiles with NPR Music, Pitchfork, The Fader, The Guardian, Brooklyn Magazine, Nowness, WNYC + lots more. She was also recently featured in NPR Music’s ‘200 Best Songs By 21st Century Women’ feature. 

Emel rose to fame after a video of her performing her song “Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free)” generated millions of views throughout the 2011 Tunisian Revolution. That song served as the anthem for the Arab Spring, gave its name to her debut album ‘Kelmti Horra’, and took her to the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Concert where she performed it to thunderous applause.

‘Everywhere We Looked Was Burning’ tracklist:
1. Rescuer
2. Footsteps
3. Womb
4. Wakers Of The Wind
5. Merrouh
6. This Place
7. A Quiet Home
8. Ana Wayek
9. Does Anybody Sleep
10. Everywhere We Looked Was Burning

UK / EU Tourdates: 

23.10.2019    Vienna (AT), Salam Orient Festival
24.10.2019    Dresden (DE), Jazzclub Tonne
25.10.2019    Berlin (DE), Frannz Club
26.10.2019    Hamburg (DE), Kampnagel  
29.10.2019    Paris (FR), Cafe de La Danse
01.11.2019     Amsterdam (NL), Melkweg
02.11.2019    Den Haag (NL), Crossing Border Festival
03.11.2019    Brussels (BE), Botanique
05.11.2019    London (UK), Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

Tickets on sale from Friday 21st June

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