you encourage the eating of ice cream

dear friends,

I first heard sia furler on a zero 7 sounds eclectic session where she spent a great deal of the time cackling & talking up a storm in a scratchy aussie accent, babbling about thrift shop store browsing. I was charmed by her constant guffaw-filled interruptions especially considering that the other zero 7 singers, mozez, tina dico & sophie barker, seemed to be of the cool, seen & not heard (well...speaking, anyway) school of classy vocalists. furler, on the other hand, was practically jumping behind sam hardaker & henry binns, main songwriters/men behind the curtain for zero 7, & waving & shouting ME!, ME! & ME! & all this without having even sung her song yet*. then she did & I was dumbstruck. I was expecting something far rougher & blues-ier like joplin but heard, & oddly this is not meant as a diss, someone that sounded very much like christina aguilera in range & tone, but with taste. her live version of the song somersault which is a measured ode to someone who helps you rebuild your life after heartache became a completely different monster live. furler seemed eager to prove just how she could push & pull a simple soul song into a jazzy slur-sung mini-opera. I wasn't sure if I liked it but yet I kept returning to that session so I could hear it over & over again.

I guess the reason I dislike a lot of current pop music is that there's a lot of technique behind those slick vocals but no real feeling. furler has all the technique in the world but her voice seems to constantly threaten to break with raw expression & that roughens her delivery, makes it less tidy, in a way that's far more exciting. not quite the stuff of soul-pop miss populars but certainly in the pop vein. but definitely not clean enough for the masses. for the flip side of somersault, seek out the woozy, up all night whisper of speed dial #2, also off of zero 7's when it falls.

so I spent a portion of last night blubbering over the finale of six feet under, a show I have followed since its inception with varying degrees of satisfaction. I sniffled, I brooded, I went "OH, COME ON!" & I demanded hugs from my fellow co-viewer 'cause I was 'sad & stuff.' then, at the end, full waterworks in effect, a montage that resembled an arty car commercial was underscored by a song I recognized instantly. "sia?," I blubbered. "what the...!?!"

considering that the song was ostensibly the first cut on a mix made by a man who only listens to top 40 & christian pop, the writer or music supervisor had taken serious liberties. character-inconsistency aside, breathe me**, from furler's solo album colour the small one, was a fitting choice for the final montage for six feet under. furler has acknowledged that the accidental death of the man she moved to england to be with was the start of a period of grief that she struggled to break free of for years & the inspiration for much of her music today. I'm not sure if the person responsible for choosing the song was aware of this but the selection certainly had a bit more weight for me than if they'd chosen something by say, faith hill. the fact that furler did founder during her bereavement & but made her way back directly relates to something the series has been trying to push on its viewers from the beginning, namely, we all will experience death at some point & rather than ignore it or sweep it under the rug, it's a good idea to examine the process. & somehow or another, move on.

love, d

* this is a lie. upon rehearing the session, she sings FIRST & chortles later. ah, well. this is how legends are made! through exaggeration & inconsistency!

** if you can, I heartily recommend searching for the four tet remix of breathe me. while this isn't the version that was played on six feet under, I find it superior.

songs to seek: somersault/zero 7, speed dial #2/zero 7, breathe me (four tet remix)/sia


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