M.I.A. announced a new studio album “MATAHDATAH” and released a new single “Swords” this week. The song and video are produced by M.I.A., Spanker and The Partysquad and filmed in India and West Africa.
From Rolling Stone:
M.I.A.’s latest track picks up where Matangi left off: With thumping bass, worldly polyrhythmic beats and a hypnotic chorus. At around the two-minute mark, “Swords” swirls with a distinctly Indian melody before breaking back towards its anthemic chanting.
As M.I.A. is want to do, “Swords” represents cultures that are severely underrepresented on the world stage; the music video features performers from India and a village in The Ivory Coast.
The second half of the almost six minute video features “Warriors” from M.I.A.’s previous album “MATANGI”. “Swords” is the first single from M.I.A.’s upcoming fifth studio album. In the release, M.I.A. says that she was inspired by the “concept of borders” as well as her experience with past albums KALA, ARULAR and of course, MATANGI:
“I directed and edited my first music video for ‘Warriors’ for my last album, MATANGI, and I held it back until now, because it inspired me to make a whole series of songs and videos on the concept of borders. Making songs and videos at the same time out of a suitcase on location is something I did on my album KALA, but it’s video, as well as music, made by me in a very ARULAR way.
My new song ‘Swords’ was filmed in a Temple in India and we recorded the clang of the metal to make the beat at the same time as shooting these incredible girls. There’s ten more of these countries coming and I haven’t chased where to go yet, so who knows where this project will take me. ‘Warriors’ was shot in Cote d’Ivoire with a guy I saw in a youtube video doing the most incredible dancing. I tracked down that exact guy, flew out there and played him the ‘Warriors’ track. He did his thing for me. He is a spiritual warrior and communicates through dancing. It’s a lifelong commitment for him to be the designated spiritual body that channels that dance.
The concept for this LP is ‘broader then a border’ and MATAHDATAH is the journal of MATANGI. Sometimes I move vertical and sometimes I move horizontal.”
The video and single were released exclusively with Apple Music it wasn’t easy to embed from the player itself (I had to look up the code in the HTML) — not sure why M.I.A. decided to go that direction, maybe Interscope has a partnership with Apple — but it’s worth noting.