Watching Tash Sultana carry out dwell is a non secular expertise. Sultana is understood for performing solo, utilizing varied loop and delay pedals to craft psychedelic jam-style soul-pop songs. It’s arduous to fathom how an artist whose songs construct so slowly, meandering by means of kaleidoscopic guitar riffs, can obtain such mainstream success. It’s arduous to fathom till you hear it.
Their breakout hit ‘Jungle’ was posted to YouTube in 2016, and has since garnered nearly 100 million views. It’s the vitality Sultana imbues into their efficiency that actually hooks you, and the ‘Jungle’ video showcases their means to command the energetic spirit of a track. Sultana is in some ways a musical virtuoso, with the flexibility to play over 20 devices together with guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, flute, percussion, and saxophone. However Sultana performs these devices like they’re merely an extension of their physique, wanting easy and elated whereas doing so.
Many artists who’re in a position to command their songs in such a mystical means run into issue translating that vitality right into a studio album. Sultana didn’t battle with that dilemma till their profession was already established, releasing their debut album ‘Circulation State’ in 2018 after a sold-out tour. ‘Circulation State’ was a extremely anticipated album amongst followers and critics and acquired accolades for its means to harness Sultana’s roaming and continually constructing sound whereas sustaining the dazzling essence of their dwell efficiency. This success prompted Sultana to go on a grueling world tour, leaving the artist burnt out and craving to decelerate.
It was from this exhaustion and retreat that ‘Terra Firma’ was born. This album is simply as lush as Sultana’s previous information, however rather more intimate. Tash really slows down on this file, leaning into the quiet consolation present in turning to household, gardening, and browsing in Australia throughout their tour break. ‘Terra Firma’ maintains Sultana’s instrumental opulence however with a extra mature and seasoned perspective that’s flecked with vulnerability.
The album’s opening monitor, “Musk” begins with a twinkling synth, constructing with the additions of snaps and bass till it crests upon a wavering guitar giving technique to the atmospheric breakdown. The rise and fall of the track is wavelike, with every new instrument enveloping you additional within the music. It’s a hypnotic opener, that primes listeners to immerse themselves within the forthcoming tracks. Sultana’s means to create pressure and launch in a track is admittedly placed on show right here.
The second monitor “Crop Circles” options Sultana’s hovering breakthrough into their higher register, framing the John Mayer-esque R&B groove. This monitor is unquestionably a standout on the file for it’s rhythm guitar pushed instrumentation and cathartic vocals.
“Greed” demonstrates Sultana’s poignant songwriting. The monitor takes an fascinating perspective on money-driven tradition, saying that cash is in the end a technique to masks your insecurities, and the extra of it you may have, the extra you utilize it to cover away the weak elements of your self. Songs like these on ‘Terra Firma’ show Sultana’s distinctive voice and poignant perspective. When their lyricism comes by means of on these tracks, it reminds you to not get too misplaced within the hypnotic nature of the music.
“Perhaps You’ve Modified” is Sultana’s tackle a piano ballad which additionally showcases their evolving songwriting. All through the track, they reference the methods through which they’ve misplaced a connection to their bodily kind, changing into disembodied amidst the wild journey of superstardom. They sing, “possibly this has modified me past restore,” doing the troublesome work of recognizing the transformative energy of ache. The track could be very sturdy lyrically however doesn’t absolutely make the most of the fascinating mosaic of instrumentation Sultana is understood for. It seems like Sultana is difficult themself to jot down inside, and but construct upon, the piano ballad framework on this monitor. In the end, this limits the potential of the track.
“Past the Pine” seems like Sultana’s tackle a gradual jam, with a well-recognized R&B/funk instrumentation that’s sophisticated by the addition of a psychedelic guitar. The track begins as an escapist love letter to a companion earlier than Sultana realizes they need to ask, “how can I save myself?” This monitor tells a narrative arising from their introspective break and is reassuring in its self-awareness and tenderness.
“Dream My Life Away” might be among the finest tracks on this file. It opens with a sparse, uncooked guitar that feels purposefully shut and reflective. The lyrics are lovely and heartbreaking with a brutal honesty that doesn’t wallow in itself. Sultana and Josh Cashman sing in regards to the expectations they’ve for themselves with a young sorrow, ruminating on emotions of loneliness and isolation we’ve all skilled over the previous yr. They repeat the fragile query within the refrain, “Did you watch me dream my life away?” Dreaming a life away is a terrifying factor for Sultana, as they mourn the time they spent holding themselves to unrealistic/unachievable requirements created by society and their very own inside pressures. When the large instrumental breakdown lastly comes, it seems like a cathartic sob.
The ultimate monitor “I Am Free” grounds this file in its intimacy. It’s meditative but maintains the lavish sound that works so properly all through the album. Sultana selected the identify ‘Terra Firma’, for its Latin that means of “agency floor”. This file definitively exhibits off the stability of Tash Sultana’s expertise as a musician and as a songwriter as they attempt to discover agency floor to face on amidst the chaos of the world. Sultana is really gifted, and their greatest problem proper now appears to be discovering new methods to innovate and construct upon an already complicated, remarkably distinctive sound.