Tash Sultana is the real deal. A genuinely talented and unique Melbourne multi-instrumentalist who made a name for herself the old fashioned way, by busking on the streets of Melbourne (Bourke St mall and Degraves St) and making homemade videos to YouTube. These simple and raw B&W videos of Tash subsequently went viral and gained millions of views.
From this ground-swell of passionate supporters of her music, Tash has quietly built up a massive following among Melbourne musos, punters as well as overseas music-lovers. Her 2016 tour of the UK, Europe Australia and NZ rapidly sold out.
Tash plays every instrument on her eponymous EP: the stomp box, harmonica, vocals, guitar, looping, beatboxing, synth, trumpet – which makes the sound even more impressive.
With a guitar since the age of three
“Guitar, I started playing when I was three. It’s still my favourite thing. Being a musician I have to learn it myself, and learn other instruments myself. Once you pick up one instrument you get the ears for it, and for another. And you can keep going and the sound just becomes familiar. It’s never ending, you don’t have to stop anywhere. I’ll pick up an instrument and play it heaps for a couple of months, then pick up another instrument and play that heaps. I just rotate, but guitar is one that stays the same.”
The first track on the EP is ‘Synergy’ is reminiscent of the ominous and atmospheric trip-hop from the 90’s track by Tricky or perhaps Sneaker Pimps. Tash has a voice that swirls and toys with the audience, with the same mysterious vibe as Kelly Dayton, lead singer of 90’s band Sneaker Pimps.
‘Gemini’, track two of the EP is a slow-burning dreamscape of sound and something about it reminds me of a slow love-making Sade song.
Notion, the third track on the EP is a dreamy, navel-gazing acoustic pop with soaring guitar and raw vocals that sound a tiny bit like a female version of Jeff Buckley.
Jungle, track four of the EP is different sounding again, with a huge, sweeping dub/reggae beat and with Tash doing some beatboxing over the top. It’s yet another dimension to a very impressive and diverse EP. I can hear some faint Tricky and early Massive Attack influences in this song.
Other comparisons could be made between Tash’s sound that of Matt Corby’s.
Tash, like Matt has a big, velvety and atmospheric blues sound with a lot of textures and depth. It’s the sort of music you want to settle into, in the middle of the night with a single malt in hand. It’s music for the twilight hour between dreams and wakefulness.
Although to compare Tash to Matt Corby would be to ignore her unique sound and the sensual epic dreamscape of her EP. It sounds like music made by someone in their late 40’s with half a lifetime of experience under their belt, not someone just entering their 20’s.
Anyway, enough of my gushing. If you want to sample Tash Sultana I recommend you get onto ITunes and download it.