Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Bright but mellow Pop from Sia

Maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t know much about Sia. As I started doing some research for my post today, I discovered all kinds of things about her that I should already have known or at least stuff that indicated that I should already know more about her. In case you aren’t already a fan, though, I’m going to tell you what I’ve found and recommend her major label debut.

Sia Furler was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1975. You have heard her voice if you’re a fan of Zero 7. She provided the vocals for their hit singles “Destiny” and “Distractions” from Simple Things, “Somersault” and “Speed Dial No. 2” from When It Falls, and six songs from their third album, The Garden. I have all three of those albums but somehow I didn’t recognize the voice.

Sia has been on both Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Her songs have appeared in everything from video games to Coke commercials. Her newest album, Some People Have Real Problems, hit #26 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. I live under a rock, apparently. Maybe it’s just that I don’t listen to that much mainstream Pop, which her solo stuff is.

Oh, Sia. Where have I been all your life?

Oh, Sia. Where have I been all your life?

Anyway, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how much I like her 2000 Sony records debut, Healing Is Difficult.  Occasionally, she reminds me of Amy Winehouse, but the sound is more modern and the songs are frankly better. She continues to work in the whole Chillout / Downtempo genre — very groove heavy with jazz overtones but with bright Pop melodies. I’ll be looking into the rest of her catalog.

I couldn’t find anywhere for you to buy individual tracks but I think you’ll be happy if you pick up the whole thing. Here are some links to YouTube, where you can hear the six songs I picked in their entirety.

  • Fear – The song gets going about 1 minute in. Funky syncopated bass and flutes back this catalog of fears that hold people back.
  • Drink to Get Drunk – The horns are mixed in cleverly with the basic piano and percussion. Great vocal performance in this. I think many of us can identify with how she’s feeling.
  • Taken for Granted – This song probably reminds me of Amy Winehouse more than anything else Sia does. So if you like Winehouse, check it out. If not, move along.
  • Sober and Unkissed – I love the production on this disc. Everything is mixed to serve her voice and it has a tight clean sound. The snare in particular really punches the beats in this track.
  • Healing Is Difficult – Everything is very minimalist in this track until the chorus, when the keyboards and saxophones jump up front. Cool lyrics.
  • Insidiously – It would seem no one has put this track on YouTube, which is a shame, since it’s one of my favorites on the disc. Here is a link to a 30 second clip. I’m not sure if I like the verses or the chorus better on this track. They’re both so cool.

Wikipedia tells me she’s in the studio with Christina Aguilera right now. I’m not usually a huge Aguilera fan (not that I hate her or anything), but I’ll have to check out the result.



May 12, 2009 - Posted by | Chillout, Popular

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