Pierce Brothers Team Up With Tash Sultana For New Single ‘High & Unsteady’

Photographed in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Dara Munnis. @daramunnis

Indie-folk staples of the Australian music scene Pierce Brothers have teamed up with platinum award winning, producer, engineer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana to write and record their new single High & Unsteady. An energetic folk track that permeates waves of clean electric guitar tones alongside the upbeat tempo we’ve come to expect from a PBs tune. Accompanying the new single is an equally impressive animated music video joining 35mm analogue and digital footage, directed and edited by Patrick Pierce himself. 

A bouncing summer single, High & Unsteady’s upbeat tempo is underscored by a much darker tone that explores the nature of the emotional pain associated with addiction and its strain on a relationship. Recorded and produced at Tash Sultana’s Melbourne studio, High & Unsteady possesses both the energetic charm of a Pierce Brothers’ single, with the unmistakable rhythm that accompanies Sultana’s electric guitar riffs. “I really enjoyed working with the guys.” says Tash, “We’ve been working together for years on the road, so I had a great idea on how to capture their sound.” With additional engineering by Richard Stolz and Jan Skubiszewski, and mixed by renowned producer and mixer Dann Hume (Tones and I, Tash Sultana, Matt Corby), High and Unsteady is the first collab between Tash Sultana and Pierce Brothers. 

Having started out busking on Bourke St together back in the beginning of their careers, the brothers and Tash have been friends for over a decade now, touring all over the planet together. It was halfway through 2021 when Tash had the idea to explore a collaboration, opting to produce the track themselves. “We’ve loved everything that Tash has done over the years, and when they had the idea to collaborate, we jumped at the opportunity!” says Jack. “Pat and I put together the bones of the track so when we got into Tash’s studio we had a base from which to create and explore new sounds. Tash is one of the most talented producers we’ve had the pleasure of working with, they brought so many new sounds to mix that we would never have even thought of. I didn’t know what a mellotron was before that day!” 

The monumental music video was a labour of love for one of the brothers Patrick Pierce who had had a clear vision of the concept since its inception. “About 12 months ago I found a video featuring this rare Japanese film camera from the 90s. It has 16 separate frames across two rows on it, and was used for things like shooting a golf swing. I was searching for about 8 months before I could find one and start testing it out.” Says Pat. On top of the unique filming style, the editing process was done entirely in-house over a painstaking summer of carefully rotoscoped images. “Easily the biggest hurdle in this music video was the edit. I had to develop, scan, separate and animate over 3,000 individual images. It took months, and I’m certain that the response from the general public will be “huh… nice filter.” That said, I’ve had this idea for ages now, so I’m really happy I’m finally getting it out of my head and onto a screen.” 

High & Unsteady marks the end of a run of collaboration tracks for the Pierce Brothers, who plan on getting started on their next record in 2023. With an Australian, South African, and European tour on the cards for 2023, Pierce Brothers show no sign of slowing down. 

High & Unsteady by Pierce Brothers and Tash Sultana is out today, January 20 via Ditto

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