REVIEW

ALBUM REVIEW: Tash Sultana - Terra Firma

FANGS OUT: Terra Firma sees Tash Sultana expanding her sonic palette.

FANGS OUT: Terra Firma sees Tash Sultana expanding her sonic palette.

THERE'S never been any doubt about Tash Sultana's level of musical talent.

The 25-year-old Melbourne musician - who famously began as a busker before her virtuosic guitar playing on YouTube shot her to mainstream stardom - has been vowing festival crowds since she was in her teens.

However, finding songs within the endless jams and improvisations has been difficult. On album No.2 Terra Firma, Sultana takes positive steps to rectify those criticisms.

Whereas in the past Sultana has featured a more blues and roots sound, Terra Firma explores soul, new jazz and R'n'B.

Sultana's guitar licks are smooth and bright, as if borrowing from the legendary Prince, on the blissful Beyond The Pine.

Songs like Greed with its hooky chorus of, "They only give a shit when you make it big/ Frame my memory when I'm dead and gone," also displays Sultana's new-found focus on melody.

The track could possibly boast Sultana's prettiest vocal yet and is further evidence she's placed a greater attention of her voice rather than the trickery of loops.

This continues on her duet with emerging indie-roots artist Josh Cashman, Dream My Life Away. The track could possibly boast Sultana's prettiest vocal yet and is further evidence she's placed a greater attention of her voice rather than the trickery of loops. The piano ballad Maybe You've Changed is another example of Sultana's melodic growth.

However, the second half of Terra Firma does wallow too deep in easy listening territory with its abundance of warm horns and shiny guitar licks once we arrive at Blame It On Society and Coma.

Overall, Terra Firma is proof Tash Sultana is moving beyond the realm of virtuoso to become a genuine songwriter.

3 stars

This story Tash Sultana firms up writing and melodies first appeared on Newcastle Herald.