This is one of those songs that I can’t help but play over and over. I first heard it on Lush, an internet radio station streamed on one of the Soma FM servers. It’s also featured in the show “Six Feet Under”, though I’ve never watched it.
So many great artists are overlooked by mainstream broadcasts, and I cannot stress enough how important it is to support internet radio. But enough of that for now.
Sia’s Breathe Me has such a deep yearning tinged with regret, but it doesn’t go overboard. No part of the song ever sounds weepy. The instrumentation plays strongly, providing a soft-rock tempo, but not so much as to overtake the song’s fragile melancholy.
Sia’s vocals sound a little hoarse, likely exaggerated for this performance, but they emphasize the image of weariness presented by the song perfectly. The deepness and rough quality of her voice, plus the stuttering cadence of her singing (and audible breathing) are mirrored by the clash of hi-hats and other heavy percussion in the background. These are in pleasant contrast to the smoothness of the piano, violin, and cello, providing a nice balance overall.
The piano is absolutely stunning. It opens the song very well and builds up slowly along with the song’s atmosphere until it simply bursts at the peak of the crescendo. When I first sat down to really listen to this song, once the climax of the song hit, where the focus is solely on the piano and then the cello jumps in, I felt like I was spinning in my chair watching all the images evoked by the lyrics.
This is a brilliantly composed, poetic, and rivetting song.