After watching Sia’s music video of Elastic Heart, I couldn’t help myself make my own interpretation of her music. I rarely listen to songs in this genre, but the music video was so intriguing and amazing that it made me watch the video at least thirty times (not even exaggerating).
I listed the symbols and the sequence of the video then interpreted it like it was a math algebraic problem to be solved with all the x’s and the y’s. While others interpreted it as a parental relationship between Sia and her father, I saw it as a battle of two personalities living inside the self.
Maddie represented the self who was ill due to, maybe, an addiction while Shia represented the self who fought over the illness. The cage represented depression, and the world outside it was happiness, or the satisfaction of being able to escape depression.
The video started with Maddie making faces to Shia. He even closed his eyes (00:38) while she was doing so, and that meant his resistance to addiction.
And I wanted it, I wanted it bad
But there were so many red flags
Shia tried to face her, but when he tried to fight, it seemed that Maddie was stronger (00:51). Maddie even dragged herself on his back and forcefully put her hands on his eyes. Any kind of addiction would make you blind of depression temporarily.
You did not break me
I’m still fighting for peace
Shia managed to escape by climbing the cage (1:28) while Maddie lied down beneath the hanging Shia. He went down, and lied beside her when she finally relaxed. (2:01) I thought of it as how one would do self-reflection.
And I know that I can survive
I’ll walk through fire to save my life
But while reflecting, Shia found himself seeking for Maddie again. Thus the biting of Shia’s hand happened. (2:21)
Then another one bites the dust
It’s hard to lose a chosen one
He was furious at Maddie because he felt tricked. He tried to fight her once again, but she managed to go out of the cage. That part was so hard to understand, but it made sense when I thought of it as how an addictive thing could make one feel better (temporarily, at least).
He then lost hope, realizing that Maddie was able to go out of that cage while he couldn’t.
The re-entrance of Maddie (3:15) and her slow climb to Shia’s shoulders signified the self’s surrender to addiction. He carried her on his shoulders and arms as if she was a burden (or maybe a responsibility). She conquered his body and emotions, and made him follow her towards the bars of the cage where she was the only one who could get out.
At the end of the video, Maddie kept on pulling Shia while she was standing on his knees. Shia, on the other hand, was begging for Maddie. (4:11) Maddie outside the cage while Shia still inside it meant that it was the addicted self who succeeded the battle, and that Shia needed Maddie in order to have a glimpse of satisfaction.
My interpretation may be aligned to the music video, but not entirely to the lyrics especially with the last two lines:
But you won’t see me fall apart
‘Cause I’ve got an elastic heart
And it kept me guessing, that was why I liked it.