My youngest son recently sent me a clip. An Australian artist, Sia flies well beneath my radar but after viewing this and others on YouTube, I find her songs to be well written and rendered by strong musicians. Her lyrics are clever, somewhat eclectic and overall, feature a balance that covers enough ground to provide substance. Preview her work on MySpace.
My initial reaction was somewhat neutral. I like this musically but find it hard to get past all the gimmickry that to my mind, muddies up the stark beauty of a ballad performed with aplomb and perhaps, even understated panache. Even so, the song is simple, well crafted and I find her voice both enchanting and expressive.
I could do without the painted hands but who am I to judge? Is this strength of conviction, confidence, stagecraft, or a new trend in signing (is that what she’s doing)? I’ll leave that to larger minds.
As much as I have my favorites, I get sick of listening to the same stuff and constantly seek good new stuff. I love to stumble upon artists I’ve not previously experienced and Sia sounds like music to me. She explores vocal nuances many lesser singers simply can’t, like maintaining pitch throughout hard “r” consonants, subtle, glottal growls and control absent in many of today’s “pop” vocalists (a moniker she may well eschew.)