Desire Marea announces new album, ‘On The Romance Of Being’ on Mute
Desire Marea has announced the release of his second album, ‘On The Romance Of Being’, and has shared a music video of the first single, ‘Be Free’. Check it out below.
The upcoming LP from the South African artist will be released 7th April via Mute. Marea’s music draws on a range of South African voices and influences, with this latest release focusing on the communal, ceremonial, and healing qualities of music.
According to the album’s release notes, over the past two years, Marea has trained as a Sangoma – a traditional Nguni spiritual healer – an experience that has shaped his songwriting. The release follows the artist’s solo debut, released in 2020.
The eight-track album was recorded live with a 13-member ensemble – including prominent musicians in South Africa’s experimental music circles, such as Sibusiso Mashiloane, Sbu Zondi, Portia Sibiya, Andrei Van Wyk, and Sanele Ngubane.
The record merges post-gospel, spiritual jazz, and the ancient music of the Nguni and Ndau peoples – with many songs recorded in a single take.
Speaking about the release, Desire Marea said: “In my work as a sangoma, ancient songs and drumming sequences are used to invoke spirits who live in me so I enter into a trance state. In my work as a musician, I heal people using music. It’s a different kind of medicine but one in which I often have to channel different spirits, different truths and the essence of light.”
The accompanying video for ‘Be Free’ was directed by Imraan Christian, and tells the story of two Black men loving each other through the crisis of masculinity in South Africa’s hyper-masculine world of taxi gangs. Watch the video below.