17-year-old music artist TIA has been called ‘a Melbourne powerhouse with her mind-blowing vocal chops, with comparisons to pop icons like Bishop Briggs and Dua Lipa,’ by Triple J Unearthed.
That comment is understandable—TIA’s vocal performances have consistently been sophisticated, polished, well-executed and suitably athletic. And her performance on Belong, her new release, is no different.
TIA’s previous tracks have all contained a hint of R&B, as her last single, Talk About It, revealed. But that stylistic tendency has been diluted somewhat on Belong but is still there in spirit, present via the drum programming and some background textures of the verses and pre-chorus. Belong is more of a straight, clear-cut mainstream pop excursion, with TIA’s very capable vocal dexterity clearly on show.
The lyric continues to cover similar ground to some of her previous releases—a series of soul-searching concepts, self-identification, self-expression, attempting to examine the perils and personal affronts of growing up. However, that’s not to say Belong is ‘youth’ focused—amid all this exploration is a decently crafted pop song with a group of free-flowing hooks and surprises and segues that all make sense. When asked about the song’s origins, TIA says, ‘Belong is about the journey you go on when you outgrow the place that brought you comfort, and you’re looking for a new place to grow.
‘‘What gets Belong over the line is more than TIA’s soaring vocal but its central melodic motif, the chorus, which possesses the right kind of chant-along, anthemic-veined chorus we all don’t mind listening to now and then.
It is about finding a place where you truly feel like you fit but still staying true to yourself. It’s about the rollercoaster that this journey of belonging is.’ The lyric attempts to delve deep, and that’s a bonus. The words, ‘I’ve been feeling cynical / Ironically not typical / Sometimes irresponsible / Guess that makes me a fool,’ are perhaps more praiseworthy for their playfulness.
Still, the chorus comes through with a more pliable couple of lines with, ‘I’m sick of feeling like I don’t fit / I’m over feeling like a misfit.’ These are sentiments we all might be reciting to ourselves during the current global upheaval. What gets Belong over the line is more than TIA’s soaring vocal but its central melodic motif, the chorus, which possesses the right kind of chant-along, anthemic-veined chorus we all don’t mind listening to now and then.
LISTEN TO TIA HERE ONCE RELEASED: