In a music industry that is saturated with auto-tuning and divas constantly choking on the word “bitch”, it can be very easy to forget that music is actually an art form. And I’m talking more than just vocal talent. I’m talking about lyrical genius, mesmerising videos, the entire production. Each strand of these take a notable amount of time to be successful in. And while we can praise Beyoncé for her applaudable Single Ladies routine, her breathtaking energy, big set of pipes, and let’s face it, a banging body – phrases like “put a ring on it” and “who run the world?” are hardly groundbreaking.
Sure, she has the occasional ‘make you pause’ moment, such as with Best I Never Had, but when it comes to the poetry of lyrics, Sia is waving at her from the finish line. Obviously, it’s difficult to compare two women who are two entirely different pop stars, making entirely different music, but Sia is showing us a different type of talent in the depth of her work.
Her lyrics, like her videos, are not to be taken at face value; they’re more than you see on the surface. Sure, it’s totally fucking fierce to see a bitch pull her hair back in a sleek ponytail and twerk up a storm in high-waisted denim shorts, but who would think of having one of Hollywood’s most talked-about actors cage-fighting with a little girl, their behaviour towards one another animalistic and intriguing.
Sia’s strange and potentially controversial approach grabs the viewer, drags them through the laptop screen and makes them a part of what she’s singing about. Her emotional connection to music can be compared with the likes of Adele, Lykke Li and Lorde.
It’s about now that we take in to account the likes of Lady Gaga, who though may not have tugged on personal strings quite as hard as Sia, the intimate details of songs like So Happy I Could Die, allow the two to be compared. Why do you think so many people loved Monster? Because of it’s poetic metaphor, something that Sia can certainly appreciate. Unfortunately Gaga went a little cray cray, and now nobody can understand her art because it’s written in brail.
Sia, on the other hand, seems to have done a reverse Gaga. Sticking all those clothes pegs and condoms on her face in the Buttons video, people were like ‘what’s this bitch smoking?’ – but now she’s able to reign it in (i.e. get other people to star in her videos), the world may be willing to listen.
Those of you who have been familiar with Sia’s music for some time now will know that this craft isn’t new to her. The brutal, yet delicate honesty she displays in Breathe Me is remarkable. As anybody that had an eating disorder in the past decade will know. Even Titanium was David Guetta’s most note-worthy song, so you probably won’t be surprised to know that Sia wrote it as well as sang it.
And don’t even tell me you thought Chandelier was about dangling from swanky lighting implements.
As successful an artist as Sia is, she’s frequently flown under the radar until the award-winning Chandelier came out last year. But was this simply a one-off? Of course it wasn’t. Once that many people are aware of how much talent you have, they wanna hear what you’ve got to say next. And here it is…
Knock ’em out once, good for you. Knock ’em out twice, good for them. And after unveiling a follow up video for Elastic Heart, which stars ‘I AM NOT FAMOUS’ Shia LaBeouf alongside starlet-in-the-making Maddie Ziegler, the nation knows Sia – and her soulful music – ain’t no fluke, but rather talent at it’s rawest.