Image: Stuart Winecoff.
Having delivered one of the most engaging and talked about songs of the year, Australian pop star Troye Sivan is holding our attention with his third studio album, Something To Give Each Other. Teaming up with Oscar Görres (Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Sam Smith), Ian Kirkpatrick (Dua Lipa, Britney Spears), Leland (Selena Gomez, Ava Max) and Styalz Fuego (Khalid, Imagine Dragons), Sivan’s foray into dance-based, funk-house leaning sonics is a fruitful endeavour that places the musician back on top.
Opening with his summer hit Rush, the confident cut is built upon a pulsating beat that will drive you straight to the dance floor and keep you moving all night long. Sivan's smooth vocals float above groove-laden production during the songs verses, building towards an anthemic sing-a-long chorus that oozes with pleasure and ecstasy. Furthermore, the song finds the musician reflecting on a period laced with freedom and euphoria, basking in the glow of liberation fuelled by desire, sweat, queerness and partying. Sivan sings us into What’s the Time Where You Are? with the lyric “God, I wish it was you,” before a bombastic beat erupts and he navigates a long-distance dose of lust and adoration. Sivan ponders what his lover is doing on the other side of the world, his more hushed performance exhibiting the light and shade of his vocals. He takes a spoken word approach on One Of Your Girls, building towards a layered vocoder chorus. “I'll be like one of your girls or your homies” he sings to a prospective flame, suggesting this may be their first same-sex experience whilst nostalgia-fuelled synth melody flows beneath and transports you back to the 80’s. Three songs in and there’s already a dynamic presence on Something To Give Each Other, whilst still retaining its dance core.
Enlisting Spanish singer-songwriter and guitarist Guitarricadelafuente on In My Room, Sivan channels Miley Cyrus’ 2013 track #GETITRIGHT, yearning for the touch of a lover and feeling infatuated by the thought of them. Guitarricadelafuente’s Spanish verses and soothing tone perfectly compliment Sivan’s alluring vocals, creating a collaborative unison. The vulnerability continues on Still Got It as Sivan yearns for a former flame following a chance encounter, recalling on their intimately shared moments. The songs beautiful melody shines atop sparse production and organs, and Sivan’s compelling vocals continue to dazzle. The musician samples Jessica Pratt’s Back Baby on Can’t Go Back, Baby, a bittersweet ballad that documents a breakup and follows the sentiments of Still Got It. However, here Sivan’s lyricism is biting with resentment and the acceptance that there’s nothing to return to. On Got Me Started, Sivan managed to pull off the impossible - receiving approval from Australian electronic duo Bag Raiders to sample their iconic hit, Shooting Stars. Kirkpatrick’s frenzied production whizzes beneath Sivan’s charming vocals, which never feel forced, and picks up the pace of Rush. Throughout the whole record, his restrained performance is a delightful change of pace from the current pop landscape. There’s no belting high notes, just Sivan’s compelling tones soaring into falsetto and his warm middle register.
For the albums final quarter, we find Sivan embracing love. A thumping bass line and deep house production leads Silly, which includes the self-confession that the musician is a “love junkie” as he waits for a reply from his lover. He searches for courage on Honey as new love blooms, with its euphoric chorus and magnetic textural production that transports the 2000’s straight into 2023. Having spent most of Something To Give Each Other reflecting on and longing for love, Honey provides a brighter moment of sexual-liberation and freedom where Sivan embraces the fun side of life.
Closing with How To Stay With You, it’s clear that the albums brazen opener was almost a bait-and-switch. Having released electrifying singles that caught the attention of the world, the album offers a more vulnerable and intimate standpoint. Sivan moves inward, dissecting the effects of love and heartbreak and traverses the terrain of a modern relationship. Sivan’s acute observations on the ebb and flow and sensitivities of life in your twenties, soundtracked by near-pop-perfection, placing him at the top of his game and ahead of his competitors. There’s a deeper understanding and commitment to his craft present on Something To Give Each Other, one that pushes beyond the tropes of pop music and captures an engaged artist at the forefront of the industry.
Something To Give Eachother is out now!