Last Friday, elusive and exceptional singer Sia released the first single from her upcoming album “This Is Acting.” According to Stereogum.com, the album will be composed of songs written for other artists or from other people’s perspectives. When it was written, the single titled “Alive” was initially meant for Adele, and according to Sia in an interview for Beats1, was briefly sold to Rihanna. In the end, Sia sings the song and it sounds amazing. A driving, powerful beat, underlined by a steady sharp bass supports Sia’s raw and soaring vocals. In the choruses she even lets her voice crack to convey the emotion behind the words. The goosebump-inducing bridge strips down the instrumentals to a staccato guitar underneath Sia belting out the declaration of self empowerment and makes the highlight of the song.
Sara Bareilles also released a song last Friday, “She Used to Be Mine.” According to Billboard, the track was written as a part of “Waitress,” a musical for which Bareilles wrote both the music and lyrics. The show just finished its run at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge and is set to debut on Broadway next April. The accompanied album, which Bareilles will be releasing on Nov. 6, is titled “What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress.” The song itself is the Sara at her best; it’s stripped down, it’s emotional and it tells a story. The core of the song uses a piano, an echoing electric guitar, a simple bass line and percussive backing. “She Used to Be Mine” is in full Sara Bareilles style and will be sounding out on the Broadway stage soon.
On yet another single released this week, Ed Sheeran lent his voice to a British drum and bass group, Rudimental. The track, titled “Lay It All on Me,” will be featured on Rudimental’s sophomore album, “We the Generation.” This is the second song Sheeran has collaborated with Rudimental on, after the single released earlier this year, called Bloodstream. The track itself is defined by a steady electronic beat interspersed with ascending guitar and piano lines. Sheeran’s voice works well with the group, and it’s easy to see why he elected to do it again. However, this will be the last song he works on for a while. According to The Mirror, Sheeran will be taking a month off his explosive music career to volunteer at a charity shop in his home town of Framlingham, in Suffolk, England.
If the stack of tunes released last week wasn’t already impressive enough, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, Panic! at the Disco released their single, “Victorious.” The track came out two days after the 10th anniversary of the group’s debut album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” and a little more than a week after the band played a free show in Boston. While Panic!’s fifth studio album has yet to be announced, they seem to have no problem releasing a steady stream of new music. “Victorious” is the third single Panic! at the Disco has released this year after “Hallelujah” and “Death of a Bachelor.” Frontman and the only original member left in the band, Brendon Urie, wrote on the band’s official site that his inspiration for the song came out of his lack of skill in athletics and is quoted as saying, “What I missed in that regard, I made up for in passion and intensity … That’s truly victorious.”
The song is a pretty big victory in itself. What the band has lost in title length it has kept in musical talent. The main groove of the song is held down by a driving drum pattern and funky guitar riff all enveloped by saturated electronica keyboard. The high part of the song is the pre-chorus, in which Brendon sings a very rhythmic building line that climaxes in a soaring high note.
These are only a few of the singles released this week, and more are coming out all the time. If these anthems are any indication for the quality of the albums that will be released around them, the music scene is going to have some gems.