Zara McFarlane

Songs Of An Unknown Tongue

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Brownswood are delighted to present Zara McFarlane’s, Songs of an Unknown Tongue a masterful work that underlines her continuous growth as an artist. Zara’s fourth studio album pushes the boundaries of jazz adjacent music via an exploration into the folk and spiritual traditions of her ancestral motherland, Jamaica. The album is a rumination on the piecing together of black heritage, where painful and proud histories are uncovered and connected to the present.

Partnering with cult South London based producers Kwake Bass and Wu-lu, Zara has created a futuristic sound palate, electronically recreating the pulsing, hypnotic rhythms Kumina and Nyabinghi – and the music played at African rooted rituals like the emancipation celebration Bruckins Party, and the lively death rites of Dinki Minki and Gerreh. These richly patterned electronic rhythms are balanced throughout by McFarlane’s distinctive, clear vocal tones, and vivid song writing.

Zara’s critically acclaimed third studio album ‘Arise’ met with universal critical praise, and was supported by an impressive live tour performing at festivals such as Love Supreme, Field Day and SXSW. Zara is the winner of multiple awards including a Mobo, 2 Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year Award (2018 & 2015), an Urban Music Award, and Session of the Year at Worldwide Awards. Drawing respect from a wide range of artists, Zara has collaborated with Gregory Porter, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and Louie Vega.

These new sonic explorations signal an exciting direction of travel for this innovative founding member of the UK’s vibrant homegrown jazz scene.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Zara McFarlane’s striking album ‘Songs of an Unknown Tongue’ is a reflective, hypnotic release filled with rich tones of roots-reggae, futuristic soul and rapid jazz tempos. The standout track for me is “Future Echoes” beaming with vibrancy and paired alongside a deep bassline, its soaring highs accentuate her stunning vocals and lyrical song-writing prowess. This genre-fusing album is a work of art, accentuating her personal growth and reflective aura through captivating storytelling.
McFarlane’s rich and vivid vocals project a soothing, cathartic atmosphere, as though being awoken from a deep slumber – it feels warm and personal. Her vocal range is what takes your breath away, from steep impactful high-notes then fluctuating to deep, profoundly rich soft presence. It’s clear to see why Zara McFarlane has been highly regarded on the Brownswood label as one to watch, well here she is.

TRACK LISTING

1. Everything Is Connected
2. Black Treasure
3. My Story
4. Broken Water
5. Saltwater
6. Run Of Your Life
7. State Of Mind
8. Native Nomad
9. Roots Of Freedom
10. Future Echoes

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