There aren’t many debut EPs that can boast an opening line quite as quirky and interesting as Tullara’s “Callouses upon my worn out fingertips, well they bruise and peel almost every day, but that doesn’t stop me from picking away at this broken banjo.”
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‘Better Hold On’ is an eclectic mix of Folk, World and Rock which makes this an intriguing piece of work from start to finish. The rich textures of the production add more depth than you might expect to find in an acoustic pop EP. The vocal stands apart from the mix allowing the breathy performance to create an intimate atmosphere with a vulnerability which draws the listener in for a second listen.
The level of musicianship that has gone into the instrumental elements of ‘Better Hold On’ add several extra layers of interest that will more than justify that second listen. The obvious craftsmanship that has gone in to this EP will undoubtably help this twenty two year old Australian singer songwriter build a long standing and loyal fan base.
The title track ‘Better Hold On’ has elements of KT Tunstall and John Butler Trio. Here Tullara’s voice is intense and more mature governing a strong control of the listeners attention. This intensity builds in to ‘Jailbreak’ a riff based folk-rock track with a strong groove and vocals with attitude (think Jet meets a folk driven Rage Against the Machine).
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The first three tracks build this intensity and strength only to completely change the dynamics with ‘No Time’’; a delicate, rich and extremely surprising treat full of rhythmical twists and quirky harmonic choices. It is this change in tempo and mood that makes ‘Better Hold On’ so accessible and will have you listening through the EP a few times back to back (which is exactly what this reviewer did on his first listen).