Tag Archives: Sia

Sia’s Perfume

I saw this interview with Sia on YouTube, and it showed how she writes songs, which I thought was fascinating.  Basically, her partner plays some melody on the piano, and she just sings whatever comes to mind.  They then discussed how they’ll write a song in a couple minutes, record a demo, and send it out to different artists.  Apparently she wrote a song, “Pretty Hurts” for Katy Perry, but it got shuffled around to Beyonce.

Long story short, I stumbled onto the demo Sia recorded for “Perfume,” a song she wrote for Britney Spears.  And, my mind is blown.  It’s so raw, full of emotion, and just beautiful.  Then I listened to the Britney Spears version and can’t believe it’s the same song.  You know, I don’t like to be negative and criticize music, but Britney is not Sia.  I don’t know whether it’s the over-synthed nature of Britney’s version or the fact she seems to be over-enounciating the words, but it just is not the perfection Sia’s is.

Sia’s version really demonstrates the raw pain of an unrequited love, and it certainly resonates within my heartstrings.  Unfortunately, Britney’s doesn’t ring like that with me.  Therefore, Sia’s version is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay, not Britney’s.

Again, I want to end on a positive note and say that I’m not here to say Britney Spears is an awful musician or anything, I just wanted to point of that Sia’s demo is simply sublime and I think she should have kept it for 1000 Forms of Fear, instead of selling it (incidentally, Sia apparently was going to sell “Chandelier” to Rihanna or Beyonce, but then she didn’t think either of them could understand the pain behind it, so she recorded it herself).  You know, Sia should just release all her demos of the songs she wrote…like “Diamonds,” “Perfume,” “Pretty Hurts,” etc. so we can hear the original beauty within them.

2015 Grammy Predictions

It’s that time of year again.  In one month, the Grammys will announce the nominees for the 57th Grammys.  I really get into watching the Grammys and predicting who will get nominated and who will win (and I am actually pretty good at it).  While sometimes it feels like the Grammys are rigged and sometimes I wonder how some songs even get nominated, I think they occasionally do a good job at honoring great music .  For me, the Grammys are a great way to be introduced to new music and/or different genres.  I’m in the process of creating my list of potential nominees, so I will update/edit this as I think of nominees, but look out for the real list December 5th!

I base my nomination predications on looking at past actions of the Academy and looking at past nominees; I’m not predicting nominations because I personally think they’re awesome (some of them I actually don’t), but because they’re just likely to get chosen.

Below are some categories with potential nominees as I think of them (there is no order, and I’m not capping the nominees at 5 like the Grammys will…I’m good, but not that good).  Again, it’s not who I think will or should be nominated, it’s more a list of who could be and has a good shot at being nominated, and it’s not a complete list because I haven’t finished thinking about it, so it will grow/be edited until the actual nominations are released .

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Sia Still Swinging From Her “Chandelier”

A while ago I wrote about Sia’s song “Chandelier” and how it holds an air of freedom to it.  Since that time, it has become my most viewed post and has received three comments (thanks guys!!!).  And, since then, I have also managed to change my opinion about the song.

I still think it’s a powerful song and Sia’s vocals are incredible, but I don’t really think it’s as optimistic and joyous as I did back then.  The comments from you guys did fuel this thinking, all of which seemed to agree that there was a depressive nature and feel of suicidal tendencies in the song.  But the more I listened to the song and Sia’s delivery, the more I began to wonder and realize that Sia is really not as happy as I thought she was.  I thought the song was about her fighting off the demons and moving on…but I really think it’s about the struggle of still fighting the demons.

From the first time I heard the song, I always wondered what the first lyric, “Party girls don’t get hurt,” meant.  Originally I just wrote it off and thought it was irrelevant.  Then, I looked at the pre-chorus of “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink/ Throw ’em back ’til I lose count,” and I realized that she is attempting to be a “party girl” because party girls “don’t get hurt.”  In other words, she sees those people who go out and get drunk and party, and thinks they just don’t have a care in the world, so she is going become one of them so as not to hurt anymore.  This now suggests that Sia has a deep pain that she’s trying to outrun, not a joyous moment of freedom that I thought.

With this in mind, I thought about the following lyrics and how I may have misinterpreted them: “Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes/ Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight.”  She’s literally saying “help me” and that she’s “holding on for dear life,” which cannot be construed as being free.  She’s actually suffering and is just trying to make it through the night.  Especially the way Sia sings this part of the song, you can hear the pain in her vocals if pay close attention.

At any rate, I smell a couple Grammy nominations for Sia…she at least deserves Best Pop Solo Performance, if not Song and Record of the Year for “Chandelier.”

#PhillipRadio: Single Edition

So, if you’re like me, you’re single while everyone you know is in a loving relationship.  Which is absolutely lovely (#sarcasm).  I decided to play off this awkward situation and create a new playlist where we would celebrate our independence (we can do whatever we want!), we can reminisce with songs of why being in a  relationship isn’t all bliss like my friends would like to make me believe, and listen to songs that would just take us away from feeling so lonely (which we aren’t feeling…ahem).  Happy listening!

P.S. I don’t know if you noticed this, but I chose only songs that were released as singles…get it?

Chandelier: Sia Swings in Her First #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

The first time I heard “Chandelier” by Sia, I just thought “what a powerful chorus.”  I then put the song on repeat, and listened to it for about an hour, thereby making “Chandelier” by Sia #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

Sia Furler, known mononymously as Sia, is an Australian singer-songwriter known more recently here in the U.S. for her collaboration with Flo Rida for “Wild Ones” (which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration) and with David Guetta for “Titanium.”  Sia, however, has been the mastermind behind more recent hits by co-writting and producing songs like “Diamonds” for Rihanna, “Cannonball” for Lea Michele, “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” for Ne-Yo.  She has also written for Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, Jessie J, Eminem, Britney Spears, and many more.  You can view her rather extensive songwriting credits, as well as her complete discography here.  Her album Some People Have Real Problems achieved her most, yet mild, success here in the States, charting #26 on the Billboard 200, while her song “Breathe Me” is perhaps her most well-known song as a solo artist. 

UPDATE: 1000 Forms of Fear has reached #1 on the Billboard 200, and "Chandelier" is climbing the Billboard Hot 100...currently it resides at number eight.

“Chandelier” is the lead single from Sia’s recent album 1000 Forms of Fear.  This is a song that has a power chorus that just shines and emits such freedom.  Take a listen to “Chandelier,” but pay attention to Sia’s incredible vocals around the chorus, especially when she sings the word “I’m” in the line “I’m gonna to swing from the chandelier:”

“Chandelier” by Sia

The following lines, combined with Sia’s delivery, have this ring of freedom, a declaration of being independent and not holding a care:

“I’m gonna swing from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier”

I did some research behind the phrase “swing from the chandelier” because I personally was taking this as a moment of freedom and joy, especially entwined with the next no-regrets-lyric “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist.”  The most consistent answer was that this phrase does convey the joyous, party meaning I was interpreting.  However, knowing Sia, I thought there could be the possibility she was talking about suicide.  Like, she’s going to tie a noose around her neck…and “swing” with from the chandelier…and “live like tomorrow doesn’t exist” because tomorrow really won’t exist.  You may be having a moment right now thinking, “Woah, Phillip, really?  You went to a dark place,” but the thing is, it’s really not that far out there.  The rest of the song talks about “throw[ing]” back “drinks” until she “lose[s] count,” and how she is “holding on for dear life.”  She even goes as far to say “Gotta get out now, gotta run from this/ Here comes the shame, here comes the shame.”  Perhaps she’s just innocently saying she partied a little too hard and is not in all that respectable of a state.  If the song was by someone like the ever-so-optimistic Taylor Swift, I wouldn’t consider the idea of suicide, but with Sia’s track record, it makes you pause and wonder.


UPDATE: Read here


P.S. "Chandelier" was nominated for four Grammys: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video!