Tricky collaborator and vocalist Marta Zlakowska announces solo album

Marking the next chapter in her artistic journey which has already gained major praise from the likes of The Guardian, Pitchfork, CLASH Music, and Vogue Deutschland, Marta first took the spotlight in 2017 after joining Tricky’s band and embarking as a guest vocalist on his European tour. Over the last six years, she worked diligently in the studio on several recordings, before finishing her forthcoming new album which has been produced by Tricky. Traveling on lonely train journeys between her home in Krakow and the studio in Berlin, “When It’s Going Wrong” signals Marta’s dream now becoming a reality, encapsulated by her broad emotional spectrum with each song reveling in its own hidden narrative.

Beyond shining as a live vocalist, Marta who grew up in Płock, a small riverside town in Poland has become the uncontested False Idols queen with uncompromising warmth and realness both on and off the stage. Her musical aspirations go back to the time when she trained in classical and jazz vocal performance while listening to an eclectic variety of music: R&B and soul, minimal techno, and even the low-end sludge of metal. “I was all over the place!”, as were most kids in the 90s. Too coy to admit music’s been her best friend and her preferred pastime rather than hanging out with people, Marta studied music and hoped to become a singer since childhood.

Marta continued to work alongside Tricky beyond touring and she gradually became an important part of False Idols – Tricky’s label which started in 2013. Her first feature with Tricky, the delicate and reflective “Makes Me Wonder”, was released in 2019 on the compilation “Test of Time”. A year later Marta appears on Tricky’s “Hate This Pain (20,20 EP)”, a deeply moving bare-bone duet and song of grief. While learning a lot about her style and voice, working in this constellation freed Marta from the pressure of trying to sound in any particular way. In their natural process, as described by Tricky, he just plays his production to her, to which she starts humming. In this very personal and mutual ecosystem, Marta’s melodies are an inspiration for writing. 

On “Fall to Pieces”, Tricky’s 14th studio album, Marta started receiving critical acclaim matching her musical stature. The Guardian noticed how “Złakowska’s coolly delicate voice is the glue to piece him together again, as her delicate guest vocals counter the producer’s darker impulses”. Marta played “a significant role in shaping the sound and feel of the album” and her “feathery voice makes the hair stand on end”, according to Clash Music.
Jump to 2023, the new album’s slow-burning introduction and the second track is Marta’s cover of “Today” by Jefferson Airplane, before bursting into a hypnotic drum’n’bass break. “It’s about this feeling of being stuck and not knowing how to get out of a situation – like there’s no escape,” she explains. “Sometimes it’s frustration, sadness, a little bit of hopelessness. These songs are about those mixed emotions.”

Among the eight album tracks written by Tricky, Marta’s permanence pierces through “Moving Through Water”, a crowning moment in the history of female voices performing his lyrics. In a gracious homage to Tricky’s late daughter Mazy, Marta’s kaleidoscopic voice delivers “I sing for my Daughter”.

The album ends with a lullaby-like cover of a Polish song, “Czarno Czarny”, having Marta reaffirm her roots and convene her impeccable grace.

“When It’s Going Wrong” is the sound of an emerging artist not only finding her creative voice but her inner power; the journey through self-doubt, hardship and uncertainty – whatever brings one to the other side. Marta remembers that moment when Tricky turned to her in the studio and quietly said: “You don’t make the music, the music makes you.”

“Marta can do what she wants now. She has fans before having any release of her own” – Tricky

The single “When It’s Going Wrong” is out now and album released on 31st March via False Idols. Stream / Download here

1. Intro 
2. Today 
3. When It’s Going Wrong 
4. Nowhere
5. Think Of You 
6. Moving Through Water 
7. Swimming Away
8. Walking
9. Czarno Czarny