Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sia Furler: We Are Born

For her forthcoming release, We Are Born, the darling of downtempo, Sia Furler, hits a distinctly upbeat groove. Indeed, the six tracks we've heard so far are decidedly funky. Just don't, whatever you do, use the F-word in the singer/songwriter's presence - it's very likely to irk her.

Having come to the attention of the KCRW-listening, latte-sipping music intelligentsia thanks to her turns with English post-trip-hop outfit Zero 7, for a while Sia was inadvertently defined by what was initially intended as a very limited, no-strings-attached guest spot with the lush lounge combo. Thanks to the success of Zero 7's debut album Simple Things (2001), and their follow up release, When It Falls (2004), and the numerous international tours that followed, Sia's personal brand became synonymous with the downtempo pigeonhole Zero 7 prominently occupied.

Seeking to capitalize on Sia's credentials in the 90 bpm & under department, record label execs understandably pressurized her to continue in a similar vein with her solo work, despite a personal preference for something a little less languid. It was therefore no surprise when Sia's evocative track "Breathe Me," became her first breakout solo song, thanks to its prominent use at the end of the final episode of Six Feet Under. Indeed the inspired TV license earned Colour The Small One, the album on which the song was originally featured, a long overdue release in the US in 2006 (the CD was released in the UK 2 years earlier). And while her next solo album, Some People Have Real Problems, helped bridge the gap between the music Sia was expected to make and the music she wanted to make, it's her latest offering, We Are Born, that has finally allowed the Australian born (but currently New York based) artist to come into her own.

I caught up with Sia by phone to find out how she got her groove back, and to get the 411 on her aversion to the F-word.

Read my exclusive interview with Sia Furler at

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