Damon Albarn’s Africa Express announce new album ‘EGOLI’ with first single ‘Johannesburg’

Featuring Gruff Rhys...

Damon Albarn’s Africa Express have announced their new album ‘EGOLI’ and shared its first single, ‘Johannesburg’. Stream the track and find more details below.

The group released a four-track EP called ‘MOLO’ in March, confirming that their fifth full-length LP would follow this summer. Albarn and co. have now shared details of the record, which arrives on July 12.

‘EGOLI’ was recorded in South Africa last January and contains 18 tracks. The first to emerge from the project is ‘Johannesburg’, featuring Gruff Rhys, Morena Leraba, Radio 123, and Sibot.

Africa Express have also shared a vivid trailer for the album, which lists its many collaborators and offers an insight into the recording process. Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Nick Zinner will appear on the LP along with the likes of FAKA, Georgia, Ghetts, Moonchild Sanelly, Morena Leraba, and Mr Jukes.

“It was such a pleasure to be part of such a special project. This album goes far beyond just a record, it is an example of the rich, modern & pioneering sounds coming out of South Africa,” said Georgia. “Absolute honour to have been involved. Africa Express is such an important platform & collective.”

South African musician Moonchild Sanelly added: “Being a part of such a diverse and deep musical project was so dope. We were like kids in a candy store where you just walk into any of these crazy little studios packed with incredible musicians, and you could make any genre of music from futuristic rave to ballads with legendary stars. I loved every minute of it, and I wrote music ’til my heart was on fire.”

The tracklist for ‘EGOLI’ is as follows:

01. Welcome feat. Phuzekhemisi
02. City In Lights feat. Georgia, Mahotella Queens, Otim Alpha, Nick Zinner
03. The River feat. Muzi, Zola 7, Mahotella Queens
04. Bittersweet Escape feat. Mr Jukes, Nonku Phiri, BCUC
05. Johannesburg feat. Gruff Rhys, Morena Leraba, Radio 123, Sibot
06. Become The Tiger feat. Sibot, Damon Albarn, Mr Jukes
07. Africa To The World feat. Infamous Boiz, Dominowe, Otim Alpha, Mahotella Queens, Nick Zinner, Remi Kabaka, Radio 123
08. Absolutely Everything Is Pointing Towards The Light feat. Gruff Rhys, Zolani Mahola
09. Where Will This Lead Us To? feat. Moonchild Sanelly, Radio 123, Blue May
10. Mama feat. Otim Alpha, Georgia, Radio 123
11. No Games feat. Sho Madjozi, Poté, Moonchild Sanelly, Ghetts, Muzi, Radio 123
12. Morals feat. Moonchild Sanelly, Mahotella Queens, Muzi, Mr Jukes
13. Taranau feat. Otim Alpha, Gruff Rhys
14. The Return Of Bacardi feat. DJ Spoko, FAKA
15. Sizi Freaks feat. Infamous Boiz, Moonchild Sanelly
16. Twirl feat. Poté, Ghetts
17. I Can’t Move feat. Damon Albarn, Moonchild Sanelly, Mr Jukes, Sibot, Blue May
18. See The World feat. Mahotella Queens, Damon Albarn, Gruff Rhys

Albarn’s most recent release before ‘MOLO’ came in the form of The Good, The Bad & The Queen’s ‘Merrie Land’. In a three-star reviewNME wrote: “Ruminations on a post-Brexit nation from a bunch of middle-aged musicians is, perhaps, less essential than it seems to deem itself, but there are probing thoughts and moments to make [the album] worth sticking with.”