This is the most emotional song I've ever heard. Quite possibly the heaviest, even with Sia's airy vocals. I remember exactly what I was doing when I first heard this song on the radio. It knocked me over; I was stopped in my tracks. I waited to hear who the artist was, and the next free moment I got, I bought the album.
Over two years later, this song still has the same captivating effect on me. It cuts straight to my heart, and it weighs me down. And I love it.
When Sia's single from her second solo album was featured on the series finale of the hit HBO show Six Feet Under, she was finally recognized around the world as a very talented artist on her own. I had never seen the show, but upon hearing that this song played during the finale, I started the show just so I could see that.
I recently finished that series finale, and I have to say it was one of the most jaw-dropping montages I've ever seen. I fell completely in love with the show, which I'm convinced is one of the best TV shows ever made. The cast is superb, the plot line is not afraid to deal with some of the most important things people face (the show centers on life and death)--addiction, homosexuality, violence, love, loss, (in)fidelity, struggle for expression and individuality--and the production quality is higher than a lot of movies I've seen. The final scene is spellbinding, and in it Sia's song took on even more weight--I didn't think it would be possible--but this song got even heavier, even more significant, even better....When you realize all the things Sia's singing about in this song--all the suffering in the world, all the self-loathing, self-mutilation--physical or not--that occurs among all this war, death, and struggle......but the end of her choruses--the end of each phrase involves the simplest of acts and the simplest of requests: just to breathe, which is essential to keep on living, to get through it all, to find hope...Yes, we will all die, we will all suffer heartbreak, but if we just breathe everything will be okay.
There's something about the piano at the start that hits the listener with a ton of bricks; the orchestral explosion near the end is like the sky opening up for a glimpse of the heavens. This is the saddest, most life-affirming, song. My favorite.