Interviewing Sia Furler can make any journalist feel rather hapless, more so when you’re but one of many slotted into a hectic publicity schedule.

Any hope of getting a focused answer quickly evaporates as the Aussie expat singer-songwriter spends the allotted interview time nattering happily about dildos, duvet dog-pasties and Avril Lavigne.

Still, it’s a pleasure. This scribe had barely gotten a word out before she was away.

“This is a gay interview, isn’t it? I’ll go put my Birkenstocks on. I’m going to get reeeeally gay for this interview — much gayer than usual,” Furler cackled down the line from her New York apartment, where she was sorting through a swag of make-up sent from friends of her girlfriend, Le Tigre member JD Samson.

“This is one of my first perks of being in the gay mafia,” she said of the free loot.

“I get so many good things for being gay. Unfortunately I also get some bad things like not being allowed to get married and not having the same rights as the rest of America. But hey, free make-up. Swings and roundabouts…”

In theory, we’re here to talk about Sia’s music. If she’s ever going to break through to mainstream commercial success, it’ll be with her new album, We Are Born. Filled with an unusually large number of upbeat pop tunes for a singer who made her name with moody ballads like Breathe Me, it seems destined to go far beyond the niche success she’s previously experienced.

Indeed, first single Clap Your Hands sounds as though it could have served as the comeback single for that other Australian export, Kylie Minogue.

“The reason I expect the new album to be a bigger hit is because I’m now apparently a ‘worldwide priority’ at my record company, which I’ve never been before. It would have to be a pretty shit record not to work just with the amount they’re spending on marketing it,” Furler said cheerfully.

“It’s sad but true — if the record company pays a radio station enough money to play a song, people will begin to like it, just out of habit. That’s why such shitty songs are such big hits, like that ‘Don’t let go, you’ve got the music in you,’ song — what kind of song is that?”

Hold the phone. New Radicals’ 1998 classic You Get What You Give? “What kind of song is that?” Uh, a damn fine one, Ms Furler.

“No, that is the shittiest, pissiest song in the world! And what’s worse, every song [New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander] has written since has been exactly the same. The last one I heard from him was by Ronan Keating and it was the same song again.”

One can only assume Furler was referring to Keating’s 2000 hit Life Is A Rollercoaster, which certainly gives credence to her recent claim she doesn’t pay attention to the current music scene.

While she may not listen to today’s pop hits, she’s starting to contribute to them. Furler has four songwriting credits on Christina Aguilera’s new album, Bionic, including the stirring ballad You Lost Me.

“For me, Beautiful is the best thing [Aguilera’s] ever done, and I was just trying to get her to sing like that again,” she said.

“I think it’s going to be a single. If it is, and it’s a hit, I could probably retire and just live on, like, a primary school teacher’s salary for the rest of my life.”

Asked which other pop stars she’d like to work with, Furler was her usual blunt self:

“I would work with absolutely anyone for money. Except Avril Lavigne.”

Take that, La Lavigne.

It’s not hard to spot an underlying theme on We Are Born, with its birth-referencing title and the raucous choir of shouty children who pop up to provide back-up vocals on every other track. At 34, is Sia feeling broody?

“I am really broody, and I — oh God, Lick-Lick, my three-legged dog, just fell off my bed, wrapped inside my duvet! He can’t get out, he’s like the filling inside a duvet pastie!

“What was the question? That’s right, babies. Yes. JD and I have narrowed it down to four spermulators. We found them on [online sperm bank] I want to have a baby ASAP.”

Once ‘spermulated’, would the couple settle in Sia’s native Adelaide to raise the baby?

“There’s a part of me that would love to, but we might just stay in New York. I like America a lot, because — and I know this is totally disgusting — as a consumer, you can get absolutely anything you need here. You can get soft fruit peelers that peel a nectarine.

“There’s this mail order catalogue here that has the most ridiculous things, like a picture of an old lady holding a dildo with the description ‘Personal Massager’. That kind of shit just blows my mind.”

And with that, we were almost out of time, but Furler managed to offer one last stirring call to arms — no doubt understanding that dildo-wielding geriatrics were a poor mental image to leave me with.

“JD is a very private person, so it bums her out that I’m such a blabbermouth about all this. But I’m open about our relationship, I’m open about our baby plans, and I don’t know why I wouldn’t be. It’s fucked that there are still kids out there who can’t come out because they’re scared they’re gonna get bashed — it’s just fucked. So the more gaylords there are in the public eye, the better the chances of survival for all these new little gay babies being born.”

info: We Are Born (Inertia) is out June 18.

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