Label: Heart Lake
Released: March 24

Conceptually rich and rewarding, Witch Prophet’s latest album DNA Activation draws heavily on her Ethiopian and Eritrean roots with every track being named after a family member. Consequently, the album runs the emotional gamut, ranging from the joyful lauding of the sartorial swag of her grandfather (“Tesfay”) to unapologetic stridency (“Makda”), devotion (“Darshan”), and admonishment (“Ghideon”). Co-produced by longtime collaborator Sun Sun, the project’s soulful beats are layered by Ethopian jazz-infused instrumentation snaking through the tracks and Witch Prophet’s unapologetic multi-lingual approach intuitively weaving English, Amharic, and Tigrinya into a cohesive and heartfelt achievement, rightfully landing it on the Polaris Music Prize shortlist. —Del Cowie