Kelly Clarkson is back with her first full-length album of new material in over three years! Piece By Piece doesn’t drop until March 3rd, but VH1 is offering you an exclusive sneak peek of one album cut each day until the big release! Today’s track is the Sia-penned “Let Your Tears Fall,” which is the perfect combination of dreamy pop bliss and Clarkson’s barnstorming vocals. Stream the song right now, and then read on for commentary from Kelly herself!
VH1: How did you come to record “Let Your Tears Fall”?
It was the very first song I recorded for the album. I recorded it while on tour with Maroon 5, which was a couple of years ago. I loved the song. I got it from Greg [Kurstin], my producer, and he works a lot with Sia. Her project had just finished and he told me they wrote this song and wanted me to hear it. I fell in love with it! I just love the message. It’s about having that person in your life —or people in your life— who can be a shoulder to cry on, or if you want to bitch about something, or anything. So I love having those people in your life, and this song is for that person.
For some reason, our kids call it “The Game Song.” It reminds me of games, like video game music. So my kids, my 8 year old and 13 year old, have renamed the song “The Game Song.”
Sia also co-wrote your new single, “Invincible.” She has such a distinctive vocal style—was it hard to break away from that when you first heard the demo?
The cool thing about collaborating on a Sia song is we are very different vocally, but very similar in a sense that we love range. She writes songs that are very rangy, and I love that. Not a lot of writers do that. A lot of writers are trying to get their songs sent to other artists, and not every artist has a big range. So it’s nice that Sia writes these big anthems that are just perfect for me. I love them, and she’s such a talent.
I think it’s hard sometimes for other artists to sing Sia because of her inflection. You know how Alanis Morissette has a very distinct style of writing? Like, she finishes phrases beginning with the next phrase, and cuts some words in half. She just has her very own style of writing, and Sia does too. It’s kind of a challenge, but I think we sound so different that I’m never going to sound like her, just because I don’t vocally sound like her in the first place. And I don’t think anyone does—that’s just something about Sia. She’s such a force vocally, and she’s such a stylist that nobody can sound like her. I don’t think anyone should be fearful of that, and that’s a compliment to her.
I freaking love her songs. I just love how all of her songs sound like they’re so lived in. She’s really had a life. There’s nothing worse than hearing a singer sing a sad song and you can tell that they’ve never been brokenhearted or never gone through something terribly difficult. It just sounds so vanilla! But when you have people like Sia in the world, you can tell the difference. You can tell that she has definitely had a life, and she lived to tell a story about heartbreak. And you believe it!
You have an amazing life right now, with a new family, new daughter, and a new album. Is there any truth to the old saying that it’s hard to create a great art when you’re happy? Is it easier when you’re sad and heartbroken?
Yeah, I always make jokes about that when Brandon [Blackstock] and I first got together. “You ruined my creativity!” But I’m just being funny because I think I’m at the best place I’ve been in my whole life. I could not be happier. I have the best kids, the best husband—life is so great. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have rough days, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t experience life. Tragedy happens and heartache happens, regardless of what emotional place you are in.
Take the collaboration I did with John Legend [“Run Run Run”] on this album. I’m not in that place right now, but have I been there? Yes. Can I pull on that emotion from experiences in my life prior to this point? Absolutely. I bet Sia’s not in the same place she was when she wrote “Chandelier,” but she has lived that and she has been there. That’s the great thing about art, it’s imitating life.
You’re working with Sia and John Legend on Piece By Piece. So what’s all this about saying you must have the plague because no one wants to collaborate with you!?
(Laughs) People have twisted that! I was just being funny. I was in London and they were saying, “Why haven’t you collaborated with anyone with anyone before?” It was kind of coming off like I was a snob who doesn’t want to collaborate with people, and I said, “No, that’s not the case at all!” Over the course of thirteen years I’ve asked a couple of people to do stuff, but for whatever reason it just wouldn’t work out. But it’s not like I haven’t wanted to collaborate with people. I was just being funny but obviously the humor did not translate.
Kelly Clarkson’s Piece By Piece is out on Tuesday, March 3. Pre-order now!