Song 212: Sia, “Day Too Soon” (2008)

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Whenever I hear this song, I’m struck by how full it sounds. The drums are big, the guitars are warm, the bass is a strong, heavy foundation. It’s not bland – you can hear each instrument doing its distinctive thing – but it’s very comforting. It envelopes like a blanket.

When Some People Have Real Problems, Sia’s third record, was released, this sound was something of a departure for her. A couple of years prior, her song “Breathe Me” hit big, largely thanks to the series finale of Six Feet Under, which used the song in its final scene. “Breathe Me” is gorgeous, but it’s anything but warm. It’s cold and brittle, a January ice storm to the May sunshine of “Day Too Soon.”

The common factor, of course, is Sia’s versatile voice, which here sounds strong and thankful (on “Breathe Me,” in contrast, she sounds weak and desperate). Everything in this song just works, and I love how her voice complements the arrangement: both the vocals and instrumentation are light but steady. The lyrics, too, fit right in, from the general idea of “I’m so happy you found me” to lines like “Baby I will stitch you, darling I will fit you in my heart.” I love those lines, which hint at past injuries and emptiness but promise future comfort and fulfillment.

One other note: that album cover up there? Ridiculous. It makes me laugh every time I see it. I don’t know exactly what Sia was going for, but I don’t really care. Whatever it is, she nailed it. As usual.

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