Sia Furler has risen to international prominence over the last few years with her break through albums ‘1000 Forms of Fear’ and ‘This is Acting’. However, she has been performing since the mid-1990s, starting in her hometown of Adelaide, and over a twenty-year period has risen to the status of international pop star. I first discovered the genius of Sia Furler, as countless others did, through her track ‘Breathe Me’ which featured as the soundtrack to the closing scene of what is arguably the greatest television show ever created; Six Feet Under. Subsequently, the track also featured on many other television shows and films. In 2008 my wife purchased Sia’s fourth album ‘Some people have real problems’. We were both hooked, and listened to the album on a fairly heavy rotation for that year. It became the soundtrack for long trips interstate in the car. Stand out tracks on this LP are ‘The girl you lost to cocaine’, ‘Soon we’ll be found’ and ‘Button’s. Two years later, we hastily acquired Sia’s fifth album ‘We are born’ upon its release in Australia. This album was produced by Greg Kurstin, who has an uncanny ability in producing great pop records, having also produced and collaborated with the likes of Lily Allen and Adele. In Australia, ‘We are born’ brought Sia to national prominence, taking out Best Independent Release and Best Pop Release at the 2010 ARIA Awards, as well as receiving a nomination for album for the year on Triple J. The following year, the track ‘Clap your hands’ received an ARIA nomination for Song of the Year. The first seven tracks on the LP are all stand out tracks in their own right. It is a very strong album, and as a result, was added to our high rotation playlist, and further aided my wife and I by providing a highly suitable soundtrack for our semi-regular car trips interstate.
The next four years of her career were largely out of the spotlight, in which she focused on writing songs for other people. Most notably, she penned tracks for Rihanna and Beyoncé. In 2014, Sia released the LP ‘1000 Forms of Fear’. Stand out tracks on the LP are ‘Hostage’ and ‘Elastic Heart’, and ‘Free the Animal’. The lead single, ‘Chandelier’ single handedly shot Sia in to international stardom, which was accompanied by a unique music video, that featured an eleven-year-old girl, Maddie Ziegler. dancing erratically across a room. The music video has been viewed over 1.5 billion times on YouTube. By this stage, she had also become uncomfortable with fame and had chosen to mask her face in public appearances. While she was criticised by many for this action, it is understandable. She has stated in interviews that she didn’t want to be famous, and wanted to be able to do normal things, such as go shopping, without being bombarded by fans and paparazzi. If anything, taking the focus away from her appearance forces music critiques and fans to focus on her music. Too many pop artists, in particular, female pop artists, are judged on their appearance. There is an extraordinary pressure for these performers look the part, and often means many have a shelf life based on their age. Through Sia’s diversion away from her face, she has the potential to become a timeless artist, where the only adjudicating that is made by critiques is on her mind-blowing voice and her song writing prowess, both of which she has demonstrated a supernatural talent. Her latest album, ‘This is acting’ was released last year, and the stand out tracks on this LP are ‘Birds Set Free’ and ‘Cheap Thrills’, and once again, has become a high rotation LP in our car. I for one, cannot wait to hear what is next for Sia.
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Observations and opinions of popular culture, covering everything from music, film, television, people and other things.