Souad Massi takes her musical roots from American folk and country, Spanish guitar and traditional Arabic instruments and inflections. Oumniya is an achingly pretty collection of melancholy and wistful ballads, with soft vocals sung in Arabic and French – melding rock, folk and flamenco styles.
Massi began her career fronting the Kabyle political rock band Atakor, earning her a reputation as a troublemaker in an Algeria torn apart by civil war. After fleeing to Paris following a series of death threats she performed at the 1999 Femmes d’Algérie to great acclaim, earning her first recording contract.
Support comes from Palestinian singer Ruba Shamshoum. Her music is a mix of poetic dream pop, jazz and Middle Eastern soul, that tells bold stories of femininity and vulnerability, and celebrates human connection to nature and one’s self.