8. Afrique Victime - Mdou Moctar
Born in Nigeria and a member of the Tuareg ethnic group, singer and guitarist Mdou Moctar performs a mixture of modern rock and the traditional music of his ancestors.
Though he'd been around for some time, Moctar finally broke through to an international audience in May 2021, with his album Afrique Victime.
Sung almost entirely in the Tamasheq language, the record was picked up by numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Paste. Not only did it showcase this underrepresented language and culture, but it also showed the world how kickass a guitarist Moctar is; the guy's got some serious licks.
Afrique Victime means "African victim" in French, which is a powerful title backed up by a powerful cover image. The continent of Africa is being carried away by a large bird. Inside the image is the face of a person, a single tear rolling down their cheek.
A powerful statement on the way Africa has been victimised by global society, this picture tells so many stories all at once and is immaculately produced, clearly inspired by classic rock album covers of the 1970s.
Here's hoping Moctar can keep this momentum going with his next release.