I have been on a total Sia kick lately. Cannot get enough of her.
This is actually the second time I have written about Sia here on Woman Tribune. The first time was back in 2010, when she spoke out about developing a panic disorder after being outed as bisexual by celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton. Losing her privacy at the height of her fame and suddenly inundated by the peering eyes of the public, she suffered panic attacks and ultimately decided to leave the limelight of fame.
After the 2010 release of her fourth album, We Are Born, Sia stopped putting out music under her own name. On top of living with a panic disorder, she had also become addicted to drugs and alcohol and had survived a suicide attempt before entering rehab.
When Sia returned to the music industry, she returned as merely a songwriter. Her writing chops are responsible for chart-topping hits like Rihanna’s “Diamonds”, “Perfume” by Britney Spears, “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” performed by Ne-Yo, Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts”, she wrote “Cannonball” for Lea Michele after the untimely death of Cory Monteith, and she even co-wrote the World Cup anthem “We Are One”.
Of course you may have heard Sia before. Her most popular song, “Breathe Me” was what really propelled her popularity for the American audience. It was also featured in the monumental closing sequence of HBO’s award-winning hit show Six Feet Under — only one of the most incredible shows to have ever aired on television.
Last month, Sia released her first album in four years, 1000 Forms Of Fear. It is spectacular. Sia’s personal music comeback has been amazing, and if you’ve turned on the radio at all recently, it’s likely you’ve been hearing a lot of “Chandelier.”
When I looked up the song “Chandelier” on YouTube, I saw that Sara Bareilles covered it during a live show in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s pretty great, as Sara Bareilles usually is. It also made an appearance on The Voice, sung by kick ass rocker Kat Perkins.
But while it may be the song getting the most attention right now, “Chandelier” is only the tip of the greatness on 1000 Forms Of Fear. I recently went an entire day listening to nothing but “Elastic Heart” on repeat. I’m not even kidding. Then the next day I woke up and put it on again first thing in the morning. I think I’m doing that thing where you listen to a song obsessively until you get so sick of it you never want to hear it again. Except I’m not getting sick of hearing it. Not even a little bit.
An alternate version of “Elastic Heart” was recorded with The Weeknd and Diplo for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.
I have always appreciated Sia’s ability to put words to the emotional pain she has felt throughout her life. I can always relate to artists who choose to put their pain front-and-center, considering the fact that my pain is what introduced me to writing, and leading with my pain has always been a huge help to my mental stability.
I had given up
I didn’t know who to trust
So I designed a shell
Kept me from Heaven and Hell
And I had hit a low
Was all I let myself know
Yeah I had locked my heart
I was imprisoned by dark
If I had routinely put my most intimate thoughts in writing here, you would easily see why I have connected with Sia’s writing, especially when she comes out with songs like “Dressed in Black” and “Cellophane”, both of which close out 1000 Forms Of Fear. They are raw, emotional, and honest songs that really encompass the journey Sia has been on over the last number of years.
I’m ecstatic that Sia has decided to release a new album. It’s obvious that she has heaps of talent, but even more important than that, it seems that she has found her footing in the public world once again. This time I hope she fits more comfortably in the nook she has successfully carved out for herself.