Sia | Lady Croissant (Astralwerks)

cd_siaA soulful and unique talent, Sia has a distinctive, almost otherworldly voice.






This new, live mini-LP from quirky Australian songstress Sia Furler (the niece of Men at Work frontman Colin Hay) was recorded at the Bowery Ballroom in New York and features eight songs from both her solo work and the Zero 7 catalog. The release also includes a new studio track called "Pictures." A soulful and unique talent, Sia has a distinctive, almost otherworldly voice that can most closely be compared to contemporary female artists like Aimee Mann, Dido, Tori Amos, and Annie Lennox.

Sia gained popularity as a featured performer in the Grammy-nominated British electronica duo Zero 7, lending her distinctive vocal talents to such hit songs as "Destiny" and "Distractions," and she gives solid performances of both on Lady Croissant. Particularly on the bluesy "Distractions," she belts it out, showing the full depth and range of her voice. This is an artist for whom her voice truly is her instrument, and it's a finely tuned one.

Sia is probably most recognized for her hit single "Breathe Me" from her solo album Colour the Small One, which was immortalized for fans of the long-running hit HBO series Six Feet Under as the haunting song of the powerful final scene of the series finale (in my opinion, the best series finale in television history). The song has since appeared in numerous television shows and films internationally.

Here, Sia's performance of "Breathe Me" is nothing short of stunning. As I'm a fan of Six Feet Under, the show was the first time I ever heard the song, and it knocked me over like a ton of bricks. It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it, and this performance is no exception. There is so much feeling in her voice; it is both emotionally exhausting and exhilarating to listen to, and well worth it.

She also gives powerful performances of her single "Don't Bring Me Down" from Colour the Small One, as well as the mellow and trancy "Numb" and "I Go to Sleep." The bonus track, the studio-produced "Pictures," is an upbeat pop song that is fairly catchy, but the real treasures of Lady Croissant are the live tracks. Fans of Zero 7 and Sia's solo work will delight in her emotionally-charged performance and her raw, transcendent voice. A | Amy Burger

RIYL: Zero 7, Aimee Mann, Dido

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