Last May, Tash Sultana posted a self-made video, just her in her living room with guitar, laptop and a great song called "Jungle." Within five days it had drawn a million views.
This 21-year-old Maltese-Australian got a guitar from her grandfather when she was three, she says, and has played it every day since. It's astonishing to watch Sultana's fluidity on her instrument, like a natural extension of her body. (She also plays bass, saxophone, trumpet, flute and more, but kept it "simple" at the Tiny Desk.) I thought I had a lot of energy — watching her bounce from guitar to drum machine to two separate microphones — and then hopping barefoot from looping pedal to effect pedal as she builds her songs was exhilarating and exhausting. There's more here than an exercise in virtuosity, her music is filled with adventure and ambition. These songs are rapturous and resonant.
Tash has just finished a month-long, sold-out U.S. tour.
Tash Sultana (vocals, guitar)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Bronson Arcuri; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistant: A Noah Harrison; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.
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