Record Rewind: Sia – Colour The Small One2 min read
Before Australian singer/songwriter Sia Furler swung from the Chandelier and hid her face she was a left-of-centre kind of an artist. While she has always written pop music for herself it took a while for her own career to soar. Titanium wasn’t her first chart success believe it or not. Eleven years ago Sia released her third studio album Colour The Small One; it’s a whole different world to the singer you hear blazing the charts now. Producer Jimmy Hogarth did a splendid job crafting the album’s sound too; the rawness and the emotion was real.
After being unimpressed with how her previous album Healing Is Difficult (2001) was promoted Sia changed labels; and she experimented with a different pop sound. Acoustic instruments and electronic elements graced the album’s sound; the percussive album opener Rewrite really made you listen to its simplicity and raw emotion.
Sia was able to work with some notable names; American musician Beck leant his song writing abilities to the easy-going The Bully. Having credited the writing of the album as being inspired by touring with Zero 7, Sia borrows two of their vocalists; Sophie Barker provides backing vocals for the best friend ode Natale’s Song; and Yvonne John Lewis backs up the drama-building The Church Of What’s Happening Now.
The moment that threw Sia into the spotlight was in 2005; she had relocated to New York, as she once again wasn’t happy with the direction her career took in the UK. Her single Breathe Me became her first hit after being licensed for the series finale of Six Feet Under; as a result Colour The Small One was re-released in 2006 and a tour was organised. What a song Breathe Me still is though with its beautiful piano arrangement and Sia’s powerful vocals/lyrics.
Also notable is the eerie yet wonderfully written Sunday; it gives words of encouragement to those giving in to the pressures of life. While the other singles released from Colour The Small One don't seem to compare to the upbeat chart-toppers Sia releases today, they are still gems; Numb may take a little while to peak but when it does it's a wondrous moment. Last honourable mention goes out to the borderline jazzy Where I Belong; another number about finding inner strength and embracing it.
Listening to Sia pre 1000 Forms Of Fear (2014) brings with it a history lesson; the world of Sia ten years ago is a completely different place to that of today. What would Sia’s music sound like now if she hadn’t written Titanium or Rihanna’s Diamonds? Have the new Sia fans of this decade gone back and given her quirky back catalogue a listen? It would be a crying shame if they haven’t; Colour The Small One wasn’t her best album but it really set the wheel in motion for the singer.