Terra Firma

Terra Firma

There’s a sense of reflection and peace on Tash Sultana’s second album, Terra Firma. The Melbourne singer-songwriter started writing their album in late 2019, and as the world began to change just a couple months later, they found themselves with far more time and space to sit and work on the music—and themselves—than they had in years, thanks to touring and other commitments. At the same time, there’s also a feeling of confidence and openness. In contrast to debut album Flow State, here Sultana was more open to new sounds and collaborations—the fingerprints of singer-songwriter Matt Corby, producer Dann Hume, and others are felt in songs that try new things and stretch beyond the musical world they’re best known for. To provide more insight into Terra Firma, Sultana has provided exclusive written commentary to accompany each track on the album.
Musk “This is the communication piece from myself to the listener. You will note there are no words, because there doesn’t need to be, everything is already said. Here, I create the sonic palette and form the introduction to all the sounds you will hear across Terra Firma. This sets the scene for the tracks that follow. I burn incense as a ritual before I play a show or rehearse, and the aroma is called ‘Musk.’”
Crop Circles “Where do we go? I’m not really sure, but I hope it’s somewhere full of bliss. I hope it’s somewhere where we feel no pain and know no suffering. I’m convinced that I am on my last life cycle; I somehow feel I may have been here before.”
Greed “I once read a book called The Little Red Hen. 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.”
Beyond the Pine “To love beyond the social norms of what is accepted and what is not. But who really cares what other people think? As if society can make laws and rules about who you fall in love with or how you should even love yourself. Love is abundant and love is free. Love is wealth, love is all the things that add meaning in between the distance of time from when we are born to when we die. And for that there is no limit, there is no race, there is no color, there is no sex, no rules. It is not anyone else’s to determine but you.”
Pretty Lady “I ventured to the streets of Melbourne. You would’ve found me on Bourke Street many years ago with a little speaker and a whole lot of attitude. I used to freestyle this song to the passersby, trying to make a coin, trying to win them over, trying to bring them into the jam and out of the daily commute. The nine-to-five, working for the man. It worked, people thanked me for it. I paid for my whole life for a very long time just with those coins. I hid this song away because I didn’t think it was good enough to be released as time went by and I grew up. It took some encouragement to bring it to light again.”
Dream My Life Away “The dream state is where you’ll find us. The fight for the present moment and that acknowledgment that the present has us where we always dreamed, and hell, it’s much better than we’ve ever been before.”
Maybe You’ve Changed “And so we do as we roll on through. Adapt and change, fall in, fall out, be happy, be sad, overcome, be defeated, lose track of why we are here in the first place. Replace those things with distractions that pull us away from the core, the light, the truth. Inevitably, you’ll find your way back if you stray from the heart. Although we’ve all changed really, but do we recognize ourselves?”
Coma “I wrote this song on my acoustic guitar when I was 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.”
Blame It on Society “We can’t let one rotten fruit spoil the bunch. Throw it away and try again.”
Sweet & Dandy “A reflection of the two-dimensional collapse of the modern day-to-day life of those of us in the 21st century. The rapid formation of technology and the ever dying, weakening, confused, infused, polluted, drowning landscape of social media’s unrealistic expectation of everything you ever do, say, think, act, or look. Put your phone down, you’ll feel better.”
Willow Tree “What is really at the top if there is nothing in between? Whatever the climb may be, the foundation better be immaculate.”
Vanilla Honey “A dear gift from the closest to me. Two cigars, one vanilla and one honey.”
Let the Light In “Sunday was you, but that was back then.”
I Am Free “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.”


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