After a series of progressively more mesmerising albums, Zara McFarlane is back with a much anticipated release on Brownswood Recordings. Jazz but not Jazz, ‘Songs of an Unknown Tongue’ draws from Electronica and traditional African rhythms while there are echoes of Dub and Roots Reggae that centred previous album ‘Arise’. The tone is varied as ‘Saltwater’ goes minimal while ‘State of Mind’ stacks layers of shuffling beats and glassy Electro Jazz synths. Towards the close, ‘Roots of Freedom’ stands out as a real anthem. A heavy sub bass is joined by an evolving, immediate chorus that inspires and while McFarlane’s verses demand consideration. The result is a banger that is also an understated thought provoker.