Mumford and Sons recently went to Africa, and by the time they left, they’d recorded five songs over the span of two straight days in a Johannesburg studio. The fruits of those labors will be released on a mini-album (curiously not an EP) called Johannesburg on Jun. 17, the band announced.
They worked with Senegalese musician Baaba Maal, South African band Beatenberg and British-Malawian DJ duo The Very Best on the album. Because there’s nothing else to report about Johannesburg right now, we’ll give you a short geography lesson instead. This is where Senegal is located in Africa:
Its capital is Dakar, which used to be the largest exporter of slaves in the world and also happens to be the westernmost point in Africa. The country achieved independence from France in 1960 and has since done relatively well for itself—it had a peaceful, democratic transition of power in 2012, and its tourism industry thrives. Still, many of the socioeconomic problems that beset the rest of Sub-Saharan also affect Senegal: female illiteracy is rampant, it’s very much reliant on agricultural exports, and the life expectancy is just 57.5 years. One of the country’s most enduring contributions to global culture in recent years has been musician Youssou N’dour, whom we profiled in 2008.
Meanwhile, here’s Malawi:
Its capital is Lilongwe, it achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1964, and it’s one of the world’s least developed countries. Mumford has shown a commitment to ending global poverty with projects like Global Citizen’s Metamorphoses, an upcoming compilation spearheaded by the band’s Ben Lovett, so we’d surmise that Johannesburg might have the same philanthropic intent upon its release.