Peer Review: Ben Andrews (My Disco) On Sia’s 1000 Forms Of Fear

For the latest instalment of our regular Peer Review column, BEN ANDREWS (My Disco, Assad, Agents Of Abhorrence) looks at Sia’s hit album 1000 Forms Of Fear.

I’m not going to lie. When I first heard Sia’s hit ‘Chandelier’, I thought it was Rihanna. Didn’t everyone? But also, it could have been Adele, right? Perhaps I am out of the loop with the slew of successful solo female artists, which is embarrassing because I like to think of myself as a bit of a pop music aficionado.

As it turns out, there were many other things I did not know about Sia. I did not know she is Australian. I did not know she once sang with Jamiroquai (in an unused studio session). I did not know she is vegan. I did not know she is older than me. I’m pretty sure my mum likes Sia and would know more about her than I do.

For a pop artist though, she seems to have taken her time with releasing albums, which makes me wonder whether there is a potential undercurrent of, well, trying to keep current. Take a look at Drake. He drops albums on the reg, no fuss, shitty artwork and everything. Thats what the kids want, a constant run of mixtape style jams to make it seem like writing hits is as easy as [runnin? through the 6 with your woes](https://www.youtube.com/watch’v=iOgjCQiKlDE).

I wonder if Sia always had that husky, ?I dabble with the Asian-made Marlboro reds at parties from time to time but management stops me from taking up the habit for reals? drawl in her voice, or is that a recent adaptive technique to maintain relevance with the kids and kinda sound like Ri-Ri? I don’t know, maybe I have it all backwards, since Sia has co-written songs for everyone including Rhianna and has the age gap on all the pop regulars, perhaps she is the OG husk trend-setter.

1000 Forms is a bit too varied for me. Its got the hit, the piano version of the hit, a couple of up-tempo full band numbers (which always have that terrible DI bass guitar sound on them cos nobody cares about bass players) and some auto-tune jams too. Audiences don’t have attention spans anymore, it’s true, so you can’t just go and do a collection of songs that all sound like ‘Chandelier’. If you could though, I would probably like it a bit more than this album. Lastly, I can’t get over the uncanny resemblance between her song ‘Fire Meet Gasoline’ and Beyonce’s ‘Halo’. Its like, identical in phrasing, vocal melody and key. Which is fine I guess, what with all the cross pollination of co-writing credits to her name. Either way, I would love to own a house in Palm Springs and be worth $20 Million, but sing these two choruses one after the other and tell me I’m not onto something.

?Flame you came to me
Fire meet gasoline
Fire meet gasoline
I’m burning alive
I can barely breathe?

?Everywhere I’m looking now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby, I can see your halo
You know you’re my saving grace?


My Disco will be performing across Australia this June.

Sunday June 7 – Toff in Town, Melbourne VIC
Friday June 12 – Ancient World, Adelaide SA
Friday June 19 – Dark MOFO, Hobart TAS
Friday June 26 – Good God Small Club, Sydney NSW