Sia unleashes an devastating, electrifying vocal performance on her rousing new ballad, “Alive,” the first single from her upcoming album, This Is Acting.
Co-written by rising singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. and Adele, the track was originally intended for the latter’s long-awaited new album. Adele, however, rejected the song at the last minute, per Billboard.
While the dramatic build of “Alive” sounds straight out of Adele’s wheelhouse, the outsized pop production — courtesy of Jesse Shatkin, who also worked on “Chandelier” — and the ragged, throat-cracking, enrapturing vocal run Sia embarks on at the end are quintessentially her.
Like “Alive,” the rest of Sia’s new album will comprise songs the Australian singer initially wrote for other performers including Beyoncé and Rihanna, she told Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Pitchfork reports. Sia also noted she’s working with rising avant-pop star FKA Twigs, and while Adele dismissed “Alive,” she did pen another track for the British singer’s upcoming LP.
“It’s much more pop,” Sia told NME of This Is Acting in February. “I’m calling it This Is Acting because they are songs I was writing for other people, so I didn’t go in thinking, ‘This is something I would say.’ It’s more like play-acting. It’s fun.”
Sia has worked extensively as a songwriter for others in the past, including Rihanna, Britney Spears and Katy Perry. For much of the 2000s, Sia was a solo artist, but ostensibly ended her career in 2010 to focus on songwriting exclusively; a contractual obligation with her publisher, however, forced her to release one more LP, which became 2014’s massively successful, 1000 Forms of Fear.
Sia has since worked on new songs from Carly Rae Jepsen and disco legend Giorgio Moroder. She also appeared alongside Vic Mensa on Kanye West’s new track, “Wolves.” While “Alive” is currently available to purchase via iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, a release date for This Is Acting has yet to be announced.