Hello everybody, and welcome to my first music post of 2019! At the very end of last year- in December- I listened to Troye Sivan for the first time (Because I loved his speaking voice in the thank u, next video which is admittedly a weird way to discover someone’s existence) and I then spent the remainder of the year becoming obsessed with his music. I really wanted to do some sort of post about him as a result, so I decided to chat about his latest album Bloom today (I’m very tempted to do Blue Neighborhood too at some point!). So, now you have all the background, onto the post!
Seventeen- this is an incredibly personal song about Troye’s experience of dating an older man aged seventeen, and is reflective about how that relationship was, in hindsight, somewhat exploitative. The lyrics really do tell you that story and capture that mix of Troye feeling good about it but knowing that it was wrong at the same time, and it’s a pretty melancholy start to the album. It’s not a standout of the album for me though, and I do wish it wasn’t first in the tracklist because while it sums up how personal the album is, it doesn’t capture that high energy feel I associate with it.
My My My!- this was the lead single from Bloom, and I think it was the perfect choice; it’s insanely catchy and brilliant, and also captures the overall vibe of the album so well in that the majority of the songs are pretty upbeat in sound and this is a song that makes you sway and snap your fingers when you’re sitting listening to it (well, that’s how I feel when I listen to it, anyway!). The drum beats throughout just give The song such a great feeling, and between that and Troye’s vocals I find this so enjoyable and fun to listen to. The writing is excellent too. The verses are slow and sultry and really give the idea of the song being a conversation where one person in a relationship is trying to convince the other person to be open about how they really feel and then they build into an epic chorus that is a huge release of all their emotions about how in love they are and how much they want the other person to admit it too. I’ve seen a lot of interviews where Troye said his goal was to make a song that made people want to strut, and I think he knocked it out of the park. Also, the acoustic version is perfection, and I highly recommend listening to it. I didn’t think such an anthemic song could work as a stripped back version but I think I actually like it more, if anything…
The Good Side- this is a simple guitar ballad about Troye feeling like he got the better side of a break up, and him apologising to the other person who got the bad side. There are some truly gorgeous lines in this (“The people danced to the sound of your heart,
The world sang along to it falling apart is a particular favourite of mine”) and the raw emotion is very much evident. This is definitely a personal criticism, but this feels a bit like a sadder version of Lost Boy from Blue Neighbourhood to me, and so I kind of compare it to that (which is my favourite song from Troye’s first album) and it does make me like it slightly less. I’m also not a huge fan of the weird slowed down, robotic bit in this; it feels out of place in an otherwise almost completely acoustic song.
Bloom- this is one of the most fun songs I have ever heard; it’s about desire, and I love how playful the lyrics are. The use of metaphors is excellent and the lyrics are so super cheeky and fun that they put over the meaning very well. “Come on baby, play me like a love song” is potentially one of my favourite lines ever, because it’s just so clever. I also just really like the way this sounds, from Troye’s vocals to the music to that weird slowed down speaking that shouldn’t work, but sounds SO good. I will never not be fuming that I’ve never heard this song on a radio, because it would be perfect for that (the same goes for My My My! and Dance to This also, actually. Seriously radios, what the hell are you playing at??)
Postcard feat Gordi– The Good Side has received a lot of attention for being a great ballad, and it is, but personally I’m a much bigger fan of Postcard. In contrast to the electropop production of most of the other songs, this only really uses piano. It uses the symbol/metaphor of a postcard that’s been sent to a partner to discuss someone who continually gives the narrator false hope that they are going to be together, then dumps them again. The simple, stripped back piano really allows you to appreciate what beautiful, pure voices Troye and Gordi have, and it also showcases the lyrics- which I think are the real standout of the song- perfectly. The postcard idea is clever in a simple way, and it feels like you’re being told a story listening to it. Also, as a final note, Gordon’s solo on the bridge is ridiculously beautiful. If I ever listen to this and don’t cry I will be shocked, because it’s so raw and emotional.
Dance to This feat Ariana Grande– this is absolutely my song of the album, because WHAT a stunner it is. Appropriately for the title, it is a song that makes me dance in my seat without fail (even though I also find it really weirdly relaxing too, it’s 100% my fave song to have on while I’m doing homework or writing blog posts at the minute- I actually wrote most of this post with this on!). It’s about staying home instead of going out, and in addition to endorsing that VERY much, I just think everything about it works perfectly. I loved this from the minute I heard those guitars at the beginning, and the drum-like instrumentals work very similarly to My My My! in that they just create this constant joyful beat. Troye’s vocals on this are incredible, especially on the pre-chorus and while I’m not a fan of her own music I have to give real credit to Ariana here because her voice is stunning and it suits the sing perfectly (I have heard Troye say that he organises collabs when he feels songs ‘need’ a featured artist, and while I’d have undoubtedly adored this regardless I do think he’s right that it had to be Ariana for this song). Their voices blend in a ridiculously gorgeous fashion, and this song is just amazing from start to finish.
Plum- the fact that this song started out as just a jokey way of getting the words peach, pear and plum into a song is mindblowing, because it’s BRILLIANT. I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a sonically chirpy breakup song, but it’s a lot of fun to listen to and another one that makes you want to dance. The metaphor of the plum is excellent, and I like the extension of other fruits and nature elsewhere that extend that idea and really work the concept into the song in a very natural way. It also gets major points for how much the guitars remind me of I Just Can’t Wait to be King after the choruses, and the clapping because it just sounds so cool.
What a Heavenly Way to Die- this is a chilled, laid-back love song about telling someone you’re in love with them, and it’s probably my least fave on the album. There’s nothing I especially dislike in it, but there’s also nothing that really grabs my attention (though I do think the chorus is pretty good).
Lucky Strike- this too is a pretty chill love song, but I love this one so much more than What A Heavenly Way to Die. It’s a little slow to start but picks up in the first pre-chorus, and the chorus is ridiculously catchy (seriously, listen to it once and it will be in your head on a loop for DAYS). It’s got such a great vibe, and it’s yet another one that has me dancing in my seat even though the tempo is slower than most songs that make you do that.
Animal- oh, what an absolute beauty this is. It’s about being so in love with someone that it makes you do things you wouldn’t normally and it’s just stunning. I don’t have words to describe how gorgeous this is, I really don’t. Troye’s voice is perfection, the lyrics are perfection, the stripped back production suits the song so well. Also, pause before you get to this, and fetch the tissues. I can’t get past the first few lines without weeping, and I’d imagine that isn’t uncommon because it’s just so, so beautiful.
Are you a fan of this album/Troye Sivan? What’s your favourite song from it? If you haven’t heard it, are you planning to give it a listen now? I’d love to hear in the comments!