Tullara shows she’s an artist that’s impossible to pigeonhole with her debut EP Better Hold On.
I thought I had her pegged with the opening track “Too Many.” It’s a jaunty folk song, complete with a fiddle, an acoustic guitar, and a banjo. I imagined she was something like the second-coming of Jewel, but with a richer, huskier voice that reminded me a little of Dido.
But when I heard “Jailbreak” I knew I was wrong. It’s a wild, bluesy ride, with a funky bass line and killer vocals from Tullara. It’s as far from folk as you can get, the kind of rock star turn you’d expect a tough chick to deliver in a dark, sweaty pub with sticky floors.
That frenetic performance took my breath away, yet I wondered whether it was all a dream as I listened to the delicate “No Time.” It’s a calm folk song, delivered with the resignation of someone self-aware enough to understand a relationship is just not working.
“Five Weeks” sees Tullara shifting gears again. It’s entirely instrumental, with a real international flavour. It transported me to the bazaars of India in minutes.
The final track “Six Months” might be my favourite. It’s also perhaps the most intimate and stripped back we hear Tullara. The lyrics are vulnerable and given space to breathe with just an acoustic guitar to keep time. It’s a heartbreaking exploration of lost love that most of us will find so painfully familiar.
Tullara shows that she’s an artist with so much in her back pocket. She goes where the music takes her, and hopes her listeners will come along for the ride. I’m only too happy to follow.
Better Hold On is currently available from digital outlets. Tullara is touring the country to support its release. Here are her remaining dates.
8 December 2016 – The Milk Factory, Brisbane
9 December 2016 – Leche Café, Yamba
10 December 2016 – 63 First Ave, Sawtell
11 December 2016 – Stag & Hunter, Newcastle
26 December 2016 – 1 January 2017 – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford
Image used with permission from the A&R Department