This five-track, half-hour live set is an offshoot of the longer album Emmaar.
The band recorded its last album in the Mojave Desert and this five-track, half-hour live set is an offshoot of that larger, longer studio release. Late-night after-hours campfire songs, according to the description. Darkened scrub-brush. Of course you know that studio and live are going to sound different, even when the existence of the live album feels pre-planned rather than spontaneous, as it does here. But the contrast is still noteworthy -- the mellowing and smoothing in Emmaar, the way the highs get punched up or a guitar gets softened into a hum, and then the absence of that in the Joshua Tree Sessions, the voices and the instruments hauling weight together on an undifferentiated plane. The multi-layering of Emmaar makes it sound like a landscape and the flatter Joshua Tree sounds like a few men inside a room. The pace is the Tinariwen fast-slowness, the guitars are a chewy lollop. I didn't look up translations of the lyrics but they're probably pensive.