Tash Sultana — Terra Firma — Album Review

Singer-Songwriter | Alternative | Indie | Psychedelic

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

I was first exposed to the wonderfully unique sound of Tash Sultana through her 2018 album Flow State, where I managed to get a very good sense of her brand of indie rock, with a soulful and jazzy feel. for this, I regarded Flow State as one of my favourite projects of that year, and it was definitely fair to say that I became a fan of her work from then on out.

In the following year, Sultana took a more easy approach towards releasing music, dishing out the occasional single, which included “Can’t Buy Happiness” and “Talk It Out “ with Matt Corby.

It wouldn’t be until 2020, when we finally got our first taste of the next big Tash Sultana project to come. By offering us a steady release of single’s, Sultana began to tease her newest studio album, Terra Firma.

Furthermore, Terra Firma is the third studio album from the Australian singer-songwriter, and was definitely a project that I had high hopes for, with thanks to all the amazing teaser tracks. That being said, I feel it fitting to go over some of the previously released tracks first.

The one that really had my attention primarily was “Greed”, which I think arrived in late June of last year. The strong narrative towards the idea of “being in the rat race”, along with that pure Tash Sultana vibe, really had me enjoying this track in particular, to the point where I even had “Greed” as one of my favourite 2020 tracks.

Following this, we got tunes like “Beyond the Pine”, “Willow Tree”, and 2021’s “Sweet & Dandy”; all of which represented a different mood with the central stylistic focus of Sultana’s indulgent psychedelia. But even more so than this, there was definitely a more polished quality to be sensed from these teaser tracks. I have to give credit where credit is due, and note that there is noticeably more depth, and a more well-mixed melody to be found in each of these new tracks.

If you’ve been following Tash through 2020, you may be wondering why I haven’t mentioned “Pretty Lady” yet. After all, it was the very first teaser for this album to be released. The truth is, “Pretty Lady” stood as one of those songs that I didn’t fully appreciate until the album’s full release, where I could finally admire this song for what it was. And frankly, I absolutely love it when an album provides you with another opportunity to go over a track that you might’ve not paid that much mind to beforehand.

And even besides all of the amazing tracks she released prior to the full album, there are still plenty of awesome new tracks to uncover on Terra Firma, even including a two-stage instrumental intro which both serves as an amazing lead-in to the experience that is Terra Firma, and a remarkably enjoyable listen all by itself.

Another thing I absolutely loved about this new album, was that it, for the most part, stays incredibly true to the kind of vibe that listeners like myself have built up to expect with thanks to the teaser tracks. While Flow State was an incredible project, the more stripped back track on that album felt like separate entities. The only real case of this on Terra Firma would be the track “Maybe You’ve Changed”, which still stands as a great showcase of Tash’s vocal talent.

And I think with this albums narrative, which I feel broadly reaches a few individual subjects, and pulling them together to make a central concept of keeping one’s humanity, it feels like the true cherry on top of this phenomenally crafted, and frankly delicious musical cake.

Terra Firma was pretty much everything I wanted Tash Sultana’s follow on from Flow State to be. With a focus on the signature sound that Tash is best known for, and a marvellous sense of refinery when is comes to the assembly of each track, truly reflects that Tash Sultana has delivered and then some, on this remarkable new album.

Favourite Tracks: Musk | Greed | Pretty Lady | Blame It On Society

Least Favourite Track: Maybe You’ve Changed

Lonely Islands Records

Enjoyment: 9/10 | Memorability: 9/10 | Atmosphere: 10/10

Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 10/10 | Narrative: 8/10

Final Score: 9/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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