Noura Mint Seymali
  • courtesty Noura Mint Seymali
  • Noura Mint Seymali

I’m neck-deep in working on the Reader‘s guide to the upcoming World Music Festival: Chicago, which kicks off 9/12—so deep, in fact, that I almost forgot it was my turn to deliver today’s 12 O’Clock Track. Once I remembered, it was pretty easy to pick a song, though, because I was already listening to it. “Karr” is the first track on the digital-only EP Azawan, by the haunting Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali, one of artists performing at this year’s fest that I’m most excited about. She once sang with her nation’s brilliant Dimi Mint Abba, and on her own she pushes her stepmother’s sound further, giving its spiritual, hypnotic intensity a tougher backbeat and treating traditional instruments like the tidinit with electronic effects. I can’t wait to hear it live: she plays Reggie’s Rock Club on 9/17 and Mayne Stage on 9/19.