Tag Archives: SIA

been | Sia

Sia made her return to Auckland, New Zealand at the very same venue she appeared at at 2011’s Big Day Out. Although this time around, things were slightly different. Apart from performing on a much bigger stage and with a massive catalogue of hit singles, Sia receded into the background allowing star dancer Maddie Ziegler to take center stage. With no live band, the stage was bare except for Sia in her signature wig and the dancers.

Performances were supported by pre-recorded videos that featured actors such as Kristen Wiig which was looped in with a live feed of the show. Sia sang all her massive hits effortlessly including ones penned for other artists such as Diamonds written for Rihanna.

The concert was unlike any I have been to, in that the main artist was not the sole focus on stage. I think we’re so accustomed to going to concerts expecting the main act to provide all the entertainment and this was definitely not like that. The Nostalgic For The Present Tour could be best described as a Maddie Ziegler and Sia collaboration. Sia’s live vocals are an amazing accompaniment to Maddie’s explosive and dynamic dancing which made for a great show.

The tour included support from MØ, Charli XCX and Theia; having missed the latter two I was happy we made it in time for Danish pop-star MØ who gave us a great set. Included in her performance were two Major Lazer songs that she was featured in, Cold Water and Lean On. There was a nice sing-a-long moment with an acoustic rendition of Cold Water.

The Nostalgic For The Present Tour would probably have mixed reactions considering it didn’t exactly follow a traditional pop concert format, but I think it was a pretty special show. It’s admirable for an artist like Sia who shies away from the limelight to be able to put together a show that is exciting and entertaining, without her being in the spotlight.

heard | 2015 sounds like…

Musically, this year is shaping up to be an exciting one, with Kanye West, Florence & the Machine and many more due to release much anticipated albums. We thought we’d round up a few tracks to give you a feel of what 2015 is going to sound like. Enjoy!

Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (feat. MØ)
Diplo and co have been working on a new album which is set to feature Gwen Stefani, Pusha T, Travis $cott, Ellie Goulding, and 2 Chainz. They’ve just released this track with MØ whom Diplo has worked with previously on her solo effort. We know summer is coming to an end in the southern hemisphere but surely this song could go hard during the colder months!

Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Leon Bridges has such an old-school vibe about him and we’re loving this track. His Instagram account has drawn much attention with his black and white snaps in the style of the mo-town era reflecting his musical taste and personal style.

Kanye West – Wolves ft. Sia & Vic Mensa
A collaboration that we could only dream of is here. Why has it taken so long for Sia and Kanye to collaborate? Sia’s such a great singer/songwriter of pure pop and Kanye loves to push his sound, it seems like it would be such a fascinating collaboration. Included in the track is Vic Mensa whom folks at Laneways Auckland this year would appreciate. This man was one of the highlights at the festival this year.

Tei Shi – Basically
I read somewhere on a blog that Tei Shi was the FKA Twigs of 2015 and I might have to agree. After an EP and a feature on Glass Animlals’ Holiest, she comes tearing into 2015 with a kick-ass video and track that is surely to be a hit.

Lion Babe – Jump Hi
Male/female duos have done it big in the music industry; with the likes of Broods, Angus & Julia Stone, MSMR, The Ting Tings and AlunaGeorge. And here we have Lion Babe who fall in a similar category but really have such a great infectious sound. By the way, the vocalist is Vanessa Williams’ daughter Jillian Hervey. Check out the hair! Gorgeous!

Ibeyi – River
Continuing on with duos, French-Cuban musical duo consisting of twin sisters, Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz make up Ibeyi. The sisters sing in English and Yoruba, — a Nigerian language and play percussion instruments and piano. Such talented twins, we had to share them with you.

Florence + the Machine – What Kind of Man
How could we leave out an act with one of the most anticipated albums this year. Florence and her machine start off 2015 with a stellar song which is the lead single from their album.

reviewed | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack

Boasting $161 million at the US Box Office on it’s opening weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looks impressive and better still, composer James Newton Howard has done a brilliant job to score the film.

The original motion picture soundtrack for this movie is darker, earthier and gritty, compared to its predecessor and complemented by a well rounded selection of artists. The first few singles you’ve probably already heard on the radio over the last couple of months – Coldplay‘s AtlasSIA ft. The Weeknd & Diplo – Elastic Heart and Christina AguileraWe Remain. Other artists also on the album are The National, Of Monsters and Men, The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons, Lorde, The Lumineers, Ellie Goulding, Patti Smith and Santigold.

I have to say my continuing favourite – leaked on twitter two weeks ago – is Lorde’s cover of Tears for Fears 80s hit Everybody Wants To Rule The World.

The track ever so slightly builds over the first minute making you crave more, then come the minute thirty mark begins a dramatic climax building anticipation, enshrouding you in its layers, losing you to the music but then at the very last moment yanks you back out with barely time to gasp, only to hear Lorde end with ‘…The World’. My sole criticism I have of the song is that it’s not nearly long enough. At a length of only two minutes thirty five it’s the shortest song on the soundtrack and pretty much half the length of the original.  It’s torture and I implore to Lorde that she return to the studio asap to record a longer version, I want more!

Other standouts for me were Imagine Dragons – Who We Are, it utilises a familiar samba beat melded with ethereal synth. Imagine Dragons have been around since 2008 but have really only made it mainstream in the last year. They are an up and coming American alternative rock band and are probably best known for their recent single Radioactive.

The erudite songstress Patti Smith singing Capitol Letter,  evokes a real sense of ages combine with the earthy folk sounds of the instruments giving much depth but also tying this song in so well with the rest of the soundtrack.

Lastly, worth a mention is SantigoldShooting Arrows At The Sky which comes complete with gorgeous guitar riff and unique vocals that float over the richness of a winning Santigold formula.

The album is full of great tracks and you may very well have your own favourites.  Regardless, I highly recommend you have a listen and get yourself a copy. And of course if you’re in New Zealand, the movie itself is currently out in cinema.

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