January 8, 2006
Hollywood ending near for Australian singer Sia
By Todd Martens
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Just a few months ago, Australian
singer/songwriter Sia feared her second full-length album would
never see an official U.S. release.
After Go Beat/Island issued her "Color the Small One" in
the United Kingdom in January 2004, she was informed that the
label's U.S. counterpart would not pick up the album. Then the
set's dwindling sales forced her to move on to new projects
without a label in the United States or elsewhere.
She hoped the album could be resurrected if one of the
songs were included in a movie. While she hasn't had a
Hollywood ending just yet, Sia is starting to come pretty
The single "Breathe Me" was featured in the closing scene
of the series finale of HBO's "Six Feet Under" last spring;
Astralwerks released it in June on a "Six Feet Under, Vol. 2:
Everything Ends" soundtrack. Despite such company on the album
as Radiohead, the Arcade Fire and Interpol, retailers point to
Sia's melancholic piano ballad as the song that customers came
"I really had high hopes for 'Breathe Me,"' Sia says. "I
had a feeling that one day someone could maybe slip it into a
film. This wasn't a film, but it worked."
The soundtrack has sold 71,000 units in the United States,
according to Nielson SoundScan. "Breathe Me" has earned play on
such rock stations as KDLD Los Angeles (Indie 103.1) and KNDD
Astralwerks GM Errol Kolosine says the label began
discussions to license "Color the Small One" a few weeks before
the release of the "Six Feet Under" soundtrack.
"We picked up the rights to it for North America, and we're
in discussions with her right now to sign her globally for the
future," Kolosine says. "One man's trash is another man's
The success of "Breathe Me" has gratified and amused Sia
(last name: Furler), especially now that all of the major
labels have come calling.
"This includes the people who dropped me, who have offered
to re-sign me and match any offer," she says. "I find that so
peculiar, yet satisfying at the same time."
Even though it took two years for "Color the Small One" to
find a U.S. home, Sia is also familiar to a number of listeners
as a contributing vocalist for Zero 7. She appeared on the
group's Mercury Prize-nominated debut, "Simple Things," as well
as the follow-up, "When It Falls," and also toured with the
electro-groove act. She says her time with Zero 7 has
influenced her current sound, which is slightly removed from
the hushed, low-key vibe of "Color the Small One."
"The next (album) is going to be totally different," Sia
says. "Doing ("Color the Small One") live is really hard. It's
all about keeping things small. But touring with Zero 7, I
realized how much I enjoy singing big songs, like shouty
Kolosine says Astralwerks is just getting started in
working "Breathe Me," and will continue to focus on bringing
the song to modern rock stations. The U.S. Astralwerks edition
differs from the import in that it comes with two B-sides and
The label will also keep milking the "Six Feet Under"
connection. Kolosine says Astralwerks is hoping to position the
soundtrack and "Color the Small One" together at retail. The
forthcoming DVD release of the show's final season will come
with an insert tagging Sia's album.
Sia says the "Six Feet Under" success has gone unnoticed in
Australia, and that's just fine with her.
"I like it," she says. "It means I can come back here and I
could do a wee by the side of the road, and no one would care."