Tash Sultana - Flow State
Star Rating: 5/5
Tash Sultana got into music the hard way: busking. A solo artist who performs with loop pedals, beat machines, and a knack for innovating on the fly, Tash has made quite a splash. With only a few songs on YouTube and a successful NPR Tiny Desk Concert video, we waited to see what would come next. They put in the time and came out with Flow State, a polished gem of an album, whose only downside might be the soloist format; the sound is very full but can become monotonous by the time you reach the last few songs.
Top Tracks of the Album & Takeaways
"Murder to the Mind" and "Mystik" are the only two songs on the album released previously, with the rest being novel material. "Cigarettes" is the best song on the record by far. There are strong emotions from other tracks, but "Salvation" or "Blackbird" are obvious picks for this category. The second half of "Cigarettes" stands alone, however, the final solo takes this song to the next level. In the beginning, soothing punk lyrics describe the search for peace in the heat of life's problems. Then we are brought into a red-hot solo that springs on us with a double-time hi-hat heavy rock beat and Tash Sultana wailing on their guitar with an expression pedal that gives us that psychedelic funk sound we needed. You will find a lot to love there.
This reviewer's other favorite songs are "Pink Moon" and "Blackbird". The former is more mellow and the latter, a powerfully epic declaration of self.
What we liked
There are deep feelings portrayed in Tash's music. Tash was just 3 years old when they picked up the guitar, and it shows on the record. While it might be overlooked by the casual listener, you'll note that Sultana does all of the music on their own. For a solo effort, the sound is very well developed. It is easy to listen to and you won't find it hard to get through the whole thing.
Not so much...
The instrumentation seems a bit uniform at times as the songs tend to lean on Tash's guitar and drum loop skills. This is the only downside to the album. We're hard pressed to find anything else that didn't add to the brilliance of it.
Videos and Singles
NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Murder to the Mind (Triple J)
This debut is nothing short of amazing. If you haven't heard it, we cannot stress to you enough just how important it is that you go stream it now. Rock fans everywhere rejoice! Tash Sultana is living proof that the genre is alive and well.
Murder to the Mind