Album Review: Troye Sivan—“Blue Neighbourhood”

By Savana James

If you haven’t heard of him before, allow me to introduce you to Troye Sivan. The 20 year old South Africa-born Australian is the doe-eyed king of the internet, and on a massive rise. To his credit, Sivan boasts an impressive subscriber count of almost four million on YouTube alone, but this popularity is not without credit. And Troye is more than an internet star messing around in the music scene. His music has exploded with massive popularity, and the music he’s created is some seriously impressive stuff. Not only have his last two EPs, TRXYE and Wild placed on the charts, they’ve also received praise from artists like Sam Smith, Taylor Swift and Adele. Last year, he was one of TIME magazine’s most influential people under 25. And he’s just announced an international tour for his debut album. Despite the impressive roster of accomplishments, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding Troye Sivan. How did the quirky internet kid doing funny YouTtube skits grow into one of the largest up and coming musicians of the year?

This journey is all chronicled in Troye’s debut album, Blue Neighbourhood. As an artist, he taps into contents thats pretty relevant to his young audience. Much like Lorde, his cool sound is paired with lyrics riddled with issues about youth culture, the future, and the anxieties that come with growing up. However, Troye presents this message in his own way, crafting a masterpiece album out of his experiences. The songs on this album are more like poetic diary entries. He touches on a multitude of topics: his growth from suburban youth to rising star, his experiences as an openly gay man, young love and loss, and the anxiety of finding yourself. These stories are what make this album truly great, due to the honesty with which he writes about them. Sivan captures his emotions in an intricate way, and pairs them with some truly great music.

troye-sivan-blue-neighbourhood-cover-413x413[1]

Album art for Blue Neighbourhood

There’s a lot to be said about this album’s individual tracks, but I’ll stick to a few of the standouts. “Heaven” features fellow Australian indie artist Betty Who, in a airy emotional song about struggling with sexuality and big theological questions. “Youth” is an upbeat twinkly dream song about the joy that’s found in youthful naivety. “Cool” is a more chill track, crooning about the desire to obtain the facade of a cool Hollywood life. “The Quiet” is heartbreakingly honest track about painful relationship anxiety. My personal favourite is the song “Too Good”. a standout genre-mashing tack about not feeling good enough. (Seriously, though. The brass and strings!)  All of these songs are written like poetry. They’re wonderfully introspective, and are paired with fresh electronic pop production and a carefully crafted aesthetic and sound.

Blue Neighbourhood is an immaculate collection of songs, straight from Troye Sivan’s young heart. And in the end, the thing that really makes this album a stand out is its honesty. The best word I could use to describe this album is the word genuine. There’s something believable about this album, Troye, and the songs he sings. You can hear it in the lyrics, in the production, and most notably in his voice. Its a fantastic album to establish an emerging young artist, and a testament to a young person finding their sound and themselves.  For me, this marks Troye Sivan as the sort of artist this generation needs. And if this album is only the beginning, I can’t wait to see how much farther he’ll go. (EMI)

Listen: “Wild”

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