Tash Sultana has looked to a rebel icon of the past for the title of their first single of the year.
Originally written all the way back in 2021, “James Dean” is the singer-songwriter’s powerful reckoning with self-reflection and transformation.
The sprightly track urges listeners to understand who their true friends are in life; sometimes it takes a huge amount of courage, Sultana acknowledges, to cut ties with those friends who don’t really add any value to your life.
Over a stirring guitar line, Sultana’s heartfelt passion on this subject flows through their vocals. For the proud multi-instrumentalist, they want one thing to be clear to anyone listening.
“I feel like the entire point of my career has always been DIY. I’ve always produced everything, written everything, played every single instrument you hear, engineered it, co-engineered and sometimes even mixed and mastered,” they say. “I have always done all of that but I feel like people still just don’t get it and to me it’s the most important message to send out.
“I remember once someone in an interview literally asked me “who is your guitarist,” I had to laugh. So I do it all. I have had great mentoring with my studio engineer Richard Stolz. That’s very important to highlight. He’s taught me a lot over the last few years.”
“James Dean” is taken from Sultana’s upcoming EP, expected to be released later this year via their own label, Lonely Lands Records. They released the live EP, MTV Unplugged (Live in Melbourne), last year to strong reviews.
Sultana hasn’t released a full studio album since 2021, when their sophomore effort, Terra Firma, cemented their growing reputation as one of their generation’s strongest singer-songwriters. Terra Firma topped the ARIA Albums Chart and earned Sultana an ARIA nomination for Best Soul/R&B Release.
Tash Sultana’s “James Dean” is out now.