South-African born Troye Sivan is to music, what Zoella is to writing: a hugely successful YouTube star on the brink of breaking into mainstream culture. So far he’s predominantly popular with only a certain demographic, but millions of followers can’t be wrong can they?
No, they most certainly are not. Ever since Troye released his first EP ‘TRYXE’ last year and its excellent single Happy Little Pill, it’s been clear that he’s set for pop stardom. ‘WILD’ only affirms this.
Warm synths, yearning melodies and poignant lyrics are the order of the day. But what makes this collection of songs special is the effortlessness and polish. Take lead single and title track WILD (don’t ask me why everything is in caps): it’s a track based on the initial rush of a relationship and the production follows suit, with a haze of synth pads, children chanting and a gradually escalating melody, but it’s all tinged with a sense of gloomy sadness. There’s a personal touch to the songwriting that makes it wholly relatable – and not just for teenage fans.
Follow-up song BITE (chill out Troye) is a menacing track that he wrote from fear of visiting his first gay club (“please don’t bite”); FOOLS (enough now) is an intoxicating whir of a track; THE QUIET (yes we get the idea Troye) begins gently enough with organ melodies, but soon expands into fizzing synths to match its core melancholic lyric “anything hurts less than the quiet”. Then there’s EASE (oh come on now) and DKLA (stop shouting, please) – the former featuring vocals from New Zealand’s brooding Broods, the latter featuring a rap from Tkay Maidza. Both continue the dark, gloomy aesthetic, although Troye is best on his own.
Yet these tracks also highlight the talents of other up-and-coming artists. Troye has worked with the likes of Allie X and Alex Hope on the songwriting, and with a full length album potentially on the way soon bringing opportunity to collaborate with more young musicians on the rise, he is slowly collating a musical army to take over your ears. Resistance is futile.
Listen: ‘WILD’ is available now.