Ryan McConnell
12:07 18th February 2021

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After endless periods of energy-sapping touring, fatigue and burn-out began to set in. But then the world ground to a sudden halt through the pandemic, restrictions and lockdowns followed which came with setbacks for everyone. For Tash Sultana, though, it offered some much needed downtime to re-group and recharge. What came as a result of that is a record that surpasses the efforts of 2018's Flow State - which itself was sublime.

With their feet planted firmly on the ground, Tash returns with their sophomore album Terra Firma. Taking a different tack with the addition of a backing band incorporating more basslines, piano and trombones, the multi-instrumentalist has taken their sound to a new level. Album opener 'Musk' is a transformative instrumental which offers an insight into what's to follow as it rolls on from the chime of keys to a heart-pounding bassline before transcending into something unworldly, which exhibits both the extraordinary talent of Tash and their skill to catch you off guard in a moment's notice.

Returning us back to Terra Firma (so to speak) on track two, 'Crop Circles' stops you in your tracks with it's majestic simplicity of acoustics and piano before ascending the listener into a dream-like state with stunning harmonies of vocals and inclusions of trombone intertwined. 'Pretty Lady', which was released as a single last year, is an earworm of a track constructed in true Sultana style with its deft looping hook and a chorus that compels you to get in line with the groove and sing-a-long.

'Dream My Life Away' sees Tash team up with fellow Aussie musician Josh Cashman, whose harmonic tones and subtle style complements both the track and Tash themselves greatly on what is an album highlight. Like being whisked up through figurative clouds in its embrace the song is then met with a warming bassline which had us gripped. Hopefully it's not the only time we hear both collaborating as they seem to be well in-tune with one anothers qualities.

'Beyond The Pine' and 'Maybe You've Changed' are standouts on the record along with 'Blame It On Society', which sees Tash talk about their frustrations with the expectations of fame and conformity in society. Overall, if you thought it not possible for the psychedelic-alt rocker to produce a record more chilled out than the releases that have preceded it then you will be pleasantly surprised with this hypnotic catalogue of sound on Terra Firma.

Terra Firma arrives 19 February via Lonely Lands Records.

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