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Songs of an Unknown Tongue
Zara McFarlane
Brownswood Recordings
Catalogue Number
Release Date
July 17, 2020

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.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Everything Is Connected 3:39 Buy

    Everything Is Connected

  2. 2 Black Treasure 3:38 Buy

    Black Treasure

  3. 3 My Story 3:54 Buy

    My Story

  4. 4 Broken Water 3:11 Buy

    Broken Water

  5. 5 Saltwater 6:22 Buy


  6. 6 Run of Your Life 6:37 Buy

    Run of Your Life

  7. 7 State of Mind 6:07 Buy

    State of Mind

  8. 8 Native Nomad 4:52 Buy

    Native Nomad

  9. 9 Roots of Freedom 7:35 Buy

    Roots of Freedom

  10. 10 Future Echoes 4:32 Buy

    Future Echoes

Zara McFarlane

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