Sia’s Powerfully Raw Voice, Paul Lisicky’s Voided Relationship, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading

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Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today, Sia’s radically unique voice finally gets the praise that it’s always deserved, Dawn Richard discusses her upcoming album, author Paul Lisicky confronts the pain of voiding, and listeners are given a pass to dislike Macklemore’s new song without ignoring its goals.

The FADER’s Aimee Cliff muses on what makes Sia’s voice so special:

Sia is behind more top 10 hits than many people would give her credit for, but the woman famous for not showing her face is still pretty new to the superstardom she first encountered in 2014 with the release of her 1000 Forms of Fear. Despite her fame, however, many people are reluctant to consider how much of an impact her cathartically honest lyrics and emotionally raw vocal delivery has had on pop music as a whole.

It’s the kind of precise chaos that Sia alone, among her mainstream pop peers, commands. Her unique vocal style is the reason most YouTube comments beneath her videos can be divided into two camps—those who mock it, and the passionate tribe who pride themselves on loving it. I frequently find myself going through this ritual of attempting to convert non-believers who say Sia “screams” too much for them. At its most laid-back, her voice is quirky; at its soaring peak, it can be actively uncomfortable to listen to.

Buzzfeed’s Paul Lisicky reflects on a relationship with an ex:

A piece that is just as beautifully written as it is, ultimately, heartbreaking, “The Ways We Tried to Erase Each Other” tells the story of author Paul Lisicky (author of the great new memoir The Narrow Door ) and another man twelve years his junior. The pair’s relationship seems perfect on the surface, but what happens when all is said and done? When things end, does that mean that nothing ever happened at all?

The shock wasn’t simply his smile, which had more than a little swagger and mischief in it. The shock was that I’d seen that face online earlier in the day as I scrolled casually, half asleep, through a hookup site, fantasizing about whom I could possibly meet in New York, though I didn’t intend to pursue such a thing. He’d leapt off the screen with unrestricted wattage, and now here he was with even more, enough to pulverize stone. A current went up my spine, as we kept walking to our respective destinations — his to the north, mine south — looking over our shoulders, stopping, walking, looking over our shoulders again. This transpired over the course of a block. We smiled so much we were practically laughing. When had I last been unafraid?

Pitchfork’s Rachel Syme talks to ex-Danity Kane member Dawn Richard about her upcoming album:

Danity Kane broke up (again) months before they released DK3 back in October 2014, but that hasn’t stopped the trio (the group’s final makeup) from continuing to make music. Shannon Bex and Aubrey O’Day got together to form dumblonde, and Dawn Richard went solo for the D∆WN project. As she gears up for the release of RED•emp•tion, the final album in her trilogy, Richard discusses Shakespeare, her decision to leave Diddy and the Bad Boy label, and Gustav Klimt.

But then, as in any good fairy tale, the hero must meet a challenge. And as Richard found out, releasing an uncategorizable R&B album on her own came with more hurdles than she ever expected. No one knew how to describe or sell her sound. She did all the marketing herself, all the publicity, all the booking. She announced the second installment of her saga, Blackheart, but before it could emerge she tried wading back into the comfort of working with Danity Kane and Bad Boy—only to find that it was not comfortable at all.