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Tash Sultana’s New Album, “Terra Firma,” Grounds the Soul in New Era

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After nearly four years have passed since the release of their ARIA-winning #2 debut album, “Flow State,” Tash Sultana’s second album “Terra Firma” has arrived. This 14-track full-length LP was written over the course of a year and is brimming with a new sound for Sultana.

Sultana takes on the project as an acting engineer, performer, and producer. From the expansive “Coma”, evocative “Greed”, and intuitive “Beyond the Pine”, Tash continues to develop and deliver to their trademark sound of layered instrumentals and genres. Throughout the entire length of the album, Sultana’s ambitious portrayal of their soft tones in a gentle light leads listeners through a therapeutic experience. 

MUSK

Sultana begins with an introduction titled “Musk”, building from chiming keys partnered with a smooth beat into sultry instrumental melodies. Although this particular introduction does not have lyrics, the themes of the song rope its audience into the experience of the album as a whole.

CROP CIRCLES

“Crop Circles”, as the first song showcasing their vocals, truly illustrates a taste of Tash’s talent in full flight. The delivery between hauntingly echoing vocals and the waltz of bass, piano, and acoustic guitar is a grand reminder of why they follow the Australian-based musicians in the first place.

Crop circles on the carpet, now I’m scared
The only thing I fear is my death
Can somebody tell me?
Tell me where I go?

Way down in the ground, right below
Will I be rotten to the core?
Or will I ascend to the big white pearly doors?

Tash Sultana; Terra Firma “Crop Circles”

GREED

Tash Sultana continues to express their profound expertise for composing, writing, and performing with the third song on the album titled, “Greed.” Sultana, while developing this song, told Apple Music that they felt inspired by a book titled “The Little Red Hen”.

“I once read a book called The Little Red Hen,” Says Sultana, “It was about this little red hen who wanted to bake some bread. She went around to all the farm animals asking if anyone would like to help her bake this bread. She went over to the pig, he said no. She asked the cows, they also said no. The sheep said no too. So she was left with this task all on her own and she baked the most beautiful bread that took her fucking ages. But once all the other farm animals smelled that it was cooked, they came knocking on her door wanting a slice, and she wouldn’t let them have any.”

Tash Sultana; Apple Music

BEYOND THE PINE

“Beyond the Pine” might sound familiar to fans of Sultanas as one of the singles released before the album. However, it’s pre-release before the album no way does it diminish the importance and strength of the track and where it lies within the album. Its seamless composition and easy-going flow allow the instrumentals and vocals to effortlessly harmonize and deliver Tash’s vision.

PRETTY LADY

Although it has been nearly a year since the release of this first single of their full-length album, “Pretty Lady” continues to deliver a layer of sunshine in the continued gloomy days of 2021. Upon its release, Tash delivered a sneak peek into the new sound of her new work and the song set the bar high for the album, where Tash clearly delivered.

DREAM MY LIFE AWAY

With dramatic instrumentals and the signature looped vocals, Sultana continues themes that reach those who’ve seen hardship this past year. Tash conveys the beautifully heartbreaking “Dream My Life Away” with a hauntingly comforting presence. This particular track, featuring Josh Cashman’s brilliant vocals, disenthralls the persisting loneliness and drastic thoughts of despair that have firmly grasped onto the souls of those who have experienced hardship and loss in the past year. Their tender and sorrowful lyrics perfectly capture a poetic harmony of diminished expectations on what could’ve been but is now a distant dream.

Here I am, here I stand
Wondering about what couldn’t have been
Ooh
Looking back on the days we had
I wish that I could say that better things were coming ’round
And I
I need this more than I should
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
And I
I need this more than I should
(Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Angel, watch me sleeping
Angel, watch me dream my life away
Dream my life away

Tash Sultana : Terra Firma “Dream My Life Away”

MAYBE YOU’VE CHANGED

With strength and power, Tash takes the momentum from the previous song and transitions directly into “Maybe You’ve Changed”. Although the heavy lyrics and gentle harmonies carry a sorrowful meaning, just as the previous song, it takes a different turn from the rest of the album, truly capturing Sultana’s diverse range of talent through a stripped-down and more vulnerable performance. Even in a recording, audiences can picture them sitting before a piano, singing with a unique vibrato and a distinct, almost haunted, sound.

The stripped-down and vulnerable studio performance of this song with an exposed piano displays strong emotion and brings forward the true talent behind Tash’s vocals and ability to bring strength and power with a soft voice. They sing;

“Do my eyes misjudge what is really real?
Try to piece together how I feel lately
‘Cause I feel like I’m going crazy
But it ain’t me
Maybe this has changed me, might even rearrange me
And maybe this has changed me beyond repair
And maybe this has changed me, might even rearrange me
I put the blame on me, I put the blame on me, I put the blame on me . . .”

Tash Sultana : Terra Firma “Maybe You’ve Changed”

COMA

Coma may also sound familiar to some of the original fans of Sultana’s. Although it may not be a newer piece of work, the song fits perfectly where it stands in the album.

Tash comments for Apple Music that they had initially written this song on the acoustic guitar at age 17. “I had it on my SoundCloud back in the day, but I hid all my old music because I didn’t think it was good enough, but I’ve decided that this track deserved another chance. It means the opposite. I am awake.”

SWEET & DANDY

Sweet & Dandy“, the title which contrasts the deeper meaning; “A reflection on the two-dimensional collapse of the modern day-to-day life of those of us in the 21st century.” An invigorating serenade, Tash sings accompanied with a simple beat and yet again her intoxicating harmonies.

All around me
Like it should be, it should be, it should be
It’s so lovely
Like it should be, it should be, it should be
Sweet and dandy
Like it should be, it should be, it should be
Picking daisies from the flowers that grow
And the life that there is

Surround me, surround me
With your sunshine
With your sunshine

Tash Sultana; Terra Firma “Sweet & Dandy”

WILLOW TREE

With releasing songs like “Willow Tree,” Tash Sultana leaves listeners begging for concert venues to open up once more in anticipation for a taste of what this performance would be like live. Music flows out of them as easily as it is for others to breathe, and Tash makes it overwhelmingly apparent as they take on the trumpet, the saxophone, the bass guitar, and drums to name only a handful. Seeing that Sultana’s previous shows were a once-in-a-lifetime experience and with an artist such as Jerome Farah accompanying them, it certainly leaves fans daydreaming for the live shows to come.

LET THE LIGHT IN

Beginning with the soft guitar, and smooth rhythms, Tash’s talent comes through with power with each song perfectly complimenting the ones surrounding it. “Let the Light” is no exception.

I AM FREE

As the final song for the full-length LP, “I Am Free” not only complements the trademark sounds of Tash Sultana but stands strong on its own as a track that listeners can depend on. As an escape from reality, or as a reminder to take a breath, listeners can take the message to heart that societal expectations are only important as you make them.

“One day I rolled over and I was 25 years old and I realized that I don’t give a fuck what society thinks I should be. I figured out who I’m becoming, and people-pleasing isn’t it.”

Tash Sultana; Apple Music

Tash Sultana has been dropping jaws and gracing the ears of their listeners with a contagious presence, and this LP is no exception. Since 2016, they have been reaching major milestones for their career, traveling the world, and playing in festivals with an astounding presence that makes watching Tash live a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With their ability to play nearly any instrument that comes to mind, and to compose music with such a raw passion, Tash Sultana’s future live performances are certainly something listeners should be looking out for as the world begins to open back up.

Read more about the singles “Sweet and Dandy” and “Pretty Lady“, and be sure to stream Tash Sultana’s full composition, Terra Firma, available now on Spotify!

Megan Nicole Editor
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Megan Nicole Editor
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