Steve Gunn – Protection (ft. Mdou Moctar) (Matador)

The opener to Nakama, a collection of collaborative reworkings of songs from Gunn’s 2021 release, Other You, “Protection” swaps out the laid-back motorik of the original for an even more stripped back arrangement. Percussive guitar and hand-claps give the song a quiet momentum, a gentle current for Gunn’s melody to drift on. Tuareg guitar hero Mdou Moctar is known for his scorching solos, but his contributions are more restrained here, approaching the tune like a sister-song to his recent album closer “Bismilahi Atagah.” It’s all sunshine and warmth, four and a half minutes of shelter from the world outside.

You can preview “Protection” on Gunn’s Bandcamp, or stream the full Nakama EP, with contributions from Circuit des Yeux, Bing & Ruth, and Natural Information Society over on Spotify.