Saturday, February 2, 2008

SHOWCASE: SIA

"I'm a binary code that you cracked long ago, but to you I'm just a novel that you wish you never wrote."


Sia Furler (who releases albums under just Sia), popularised by her song Breathe Me being used in the final scene of the groundbreaking TV show Six Feet Under, has had a great career so far, in terms of output. After two iffy (and very rare) albums in OnlySee and Healing is Difficult, she finally broke out with the wonderful Colour the Small One and Breathe Me. Since then, she's released the Lady Croissant Live EP and, this year, standout album Some People Have Real Problems. I got my hands on the album a little early, and thus have heard most of the songs - including a handful that would have definitely scored on 2007's Best Tracks list.

The highlight of Sia's music is her amazing voice, as well as her often mysterious lyrics that seem to often allude to insanity or at least self-confusion and a search for balance and identity. Her voice soars among a cacophony of female singer-songwriters reaching out for attention these days, one of the purest around.

I've already shared her breakout track, Breathe Me, and last year's single, Buttons, with you guys. Luckily, there are plenty more great songs in her catalogue...

Sia - Numb (Sendspace link)
Album: Colour the Small One

This song, in the thread of Breathe Me and Buttons, seems to tie into the idea of mental instability, sounding like pieces of the products of therapy sessions for the titular 'numb' girl. Sia is numb here, without droning or boring the listener, bringing a vulnerability to it that really makes the song work.

Sia - Sunday (Sendspace link)
Album: Colour the Small One

This scattered group of phrases is all tied together with references to Sunday, the Sabbath day of rest in Christian religions, and a reference to Jesus implies this is very much meant. The sound is very mournful and depressing, the lyrics calling to mind possibly a prayer of some sort, referencing both drug users, migraine sufferers and regretters, telling them 'it will be okay, do not think today, give yourself a break, let your imagination run away', bringing the idea of the Sabbath and rest into the song. It's truly a beautiful song, no matter your interpretation.

Sia - Academia (Sendspace link)
Album: Some People Have Real Problems

This song is hilarious and yet touching in its phrasings, using both mathematical and literary terms (both sides of 'academia') as metaphors for relationship problems, presumably between two people who belong on each side of the fence - those relating to him are often literary, while hers are mostly mathematical. The song bounces from its soothing chorus to the frenetic lyrical ramblings that charm completely.

Sia - Soon We'll Be Found (Sendspace link)
Album: Some People Have Real Problems

A sad song about the disconnection between two people as they go to bed, trying to avoid the subject as they lay next to one another. "Shut your eyes, there are no lies in this world we call sleep[...] Tomorrow we'll be free," sings Sia, desperation in her voice as she pleads to have one more night before the storm. She's so tired, so ragged in this song that it's hard not to be heartbroken just listening to it.

BONUS: Sia - Paranoid Android (Radiohead cover) (Sendspace link)
Album: Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads

I must admit, while loving the various Fake Plastic Trees covers that have made the rounds, I've never been a massive fan of Radiohead themselves. That said, I am a little familiar with them, and this is a pitch perfect cover in recreating the 'lost' feeling I would often get from them. The mournful strings in the background while she warbles hopelessly, bringing life to the mysterious lyrics. After all, she's used to the enigmatic, having a number of hits that require intense interpretation to make sense. Her voice here is better showcased than in many of her own tracks, and is probably the highlight of the tribute album it was recorded for.

I love Sia's music and I'm hoping she sees continued (and greater) success from now on. If you wanna support her and buy some Sia, look here, here or here.

6 comments:

Kara said...

Ou, thanks for the Radiohead Cover! Awesome.

Sounds like me in the shower though..

I noticed you didnt post "Sweet Potato" which is a great song. Poo!

The Alden said...

Heh, Sweet Potato's nice but these are my favourites. It might pop up at some point tho, as I really like it. :)

Roon said...

Thanks Alden, I might be wrong, but I think you first recommended her to me (Breathe) when I was looking for a Fate finale song.

The Alden said...

Probably; I went through a 'Breathe Me' phase, forgetting that any show that used it would probably be accused of copying SFU. I'm glad you like, though. :)

Wendy77 said...

I was wrong before. Academia rules.

The Alden said...

Ha! I am very rarely wrong. Glad ya like it!