Everyone’s (still) waiting…

If you are a fan of singers and songwriters like Sara Bareilles, Sarah Blasko and Sarah McLachlan, and always admire their talent in music and are highly impressed by their phenomenal and unique vocal skills, I think you will appreciate the following Australian artist I am about to introduce to you, and I am sure you’ll also soon fall in love with her music too. Her name is not Sarah or Sara, but her talent in music can certainly stand comparison with any of the Sara(h)s mentioned above.

Her name is Missy Higgins.

Like Sarah Blasko, Missy is also one of Australia’s most well-known singers and songwriters in this century. She’s a multi-award winner who is best known for her hits such as “Scar”, “The Special Two”, etc. Her talent and her passion for music has led her to seven ARIA awards* over the past years.

There is no doubt that Missy Higgins is one of the biggest success stories in the Australian music industry, however, personally I still think she’s quite underrated from an international perspective. This is partly why I decided to write this post because I do think that Missy deserves to be better known in the global music industry.

So if you’re reading this post from the other side of the world, maybe you should check out her music too! 🙂

 

The_Sound_of_White_by_Missy_Higgins

I first heard of Missy’s music back in 2005 and I have been a huge fan of hers ever since. I still remember the day I came across one of her early songs “the Sound of White” from the radio. I had never heard of a singer named Missy Higgins before and what had caught my ear at that moment wasn’t the melody or the lyrics of the song, but Missy’s distinctive voice coloured with her thick Australian accent.

At the time I was still a new arrival to the country, I wasn’t familiar with the local Australian music, but I did know some of the internationally well-known Australian singers and bands and had listened to their songs, but unlike Missy, these singers seem to lose their accents when it comes to singing.

Whereas Missy’s singing is authentic, she’s true to her origin, and she’s unashamed of her Aussie accent even if it means that this could potentially become an obstacle that would prevent her from shining on the international stage. But I think this is exactly what made her singing interesting and caught my attention in the first place.

To me, I think it’s fair to say that Missy has created her own genre of music, every time when I listen to her songs now, I don’t hear the Australian accent anymore, all I hear is “Missy Higgins”. She is her own label. Missy is creative and insightful. Her songs are recognizable not only because of her adorable voice and accent, but also through the poetic lyrics that accompanied by the beautiful melody, which give insights into life.

Like a freeze-dried rose, you will never be, What you were, what you were to me in memory.
But if I listen to the dark, You’ll embrace me like a star, Envelope me, envelope me…
– Sound of White (2004)

I’ve hardly been outside my room in days, ‘Cause I don’t feel that I deserve the sunshine’s rays. The darkness helped until the whiskey wore away, And it was then I realize the conscience never fades.
– The Special Two (2004)

 

During the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015, a Kurdish family were trying to reach Canada to join their relatives, but while on the boat trying to cross the Mediterranean, three-year-old Alan Kurdi along with his mother and brother were drowned. Only the father survived this tragedy. The image of little Alan’s lifeless body washed up on a beach has made global headlines at the time. Many hearts were touched and broken after seeing the image, Missy’s was no exception, she then wrote the song Oh Canada and dedicated it to the memory of this little boy as well as all the victims of the refugee crisis. The single was released in 2016, with 100% of net proceeds from sales goes to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

Earlier this year, on World Refugee Day, Missy performed this heartbreaking song live at the ASRC in Melbourne.

 

He was carried from the water by a solider
And the picture screams a thousand different words
He was running from the terror with his father
Who once believed that nothing could be worse

So he’d handed a man two thousand precious dollars
The way you’d rest a bird in a lion’s open jaw
And he told his boys that Canada was waiting
There was hope upon her golden shores

But at night he said a quiet prayer to the wind

Oh Canada, if you can hear me now
Won’t you open up your arms towards the sea?
Oh Canada, if you can help me out
All I ever wanted was a safe place for my family

Well the days were long but the nights were even longer
And the babies never left their mothers’ side
But the boat was small and the waves were getting stronger
And they began to fear they’d not survive

So the father said “We gotta hold each other tighter
I’m not losing everyone I love tonight
And we’ve come so far I know that out there somewhere
There’s a place where we’ll not fear for our lives”

But as he held onto the side of the boat he looked up at the sky

Oh Canada, if you can hear me now
Won’t you open up your arms towards the sea
Oh Canada, if you can help me out
The sea is turning and I think we’re going down

Anyone if you can hear me now,
Won’t you open up your heart towards the sea
Anyone, please help us out
All we ever wanted was a safe place for our family

There’s a million ways to justify your fear
There’s a million ways to measure out your words
But the body of Alan being laid upon the sand
Tell me how do you live with that?

– Oh Canada (2016)

**********

*the ARIAs is the highly prestigious annual awards in the Australian music industry

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