BLUE Neighbourhood, the debut album from Australian singer Troye Sivan hooks you in to the story of a young boy trying to find his way in life just like the artist himself.
Sivan is well known as a YouTube personality and has been uploading videos for his now 3.7 million subscribers for 8 years. He started by posting mainly comedy sketch and discussion videos until he released a video of a song he wrote after reading John Green’s ‘The Fault in our Stars’. He created a music video to go with the song featuring young people having cancer treatment and it now has over 6 million views on YouTube.
After the success of the song, EMI Australia contacted Sivan to offer him a music career and it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.
In 2014 his first EP Happy Little Pill was released and received great support before he unveiled mini album ‘Wild’ in 2015 which contained songs that would later feature on his album Blue Neighbourhood which was released on 4th December.
I've had 'Happy Little Pill' by @troyesivan on repeat for, like, 2 months. I can't get over how good it is. ?
— Samantha (@saloar_) September 8, 2015
Between the release of Wild and Blue Neighbourhood, a music video trilogy was released on YouTube telling the story of two characters – one played by Sivan – who fall in love but are torn apart because the father of one of the boys disapproves of the relationship. The trilogy was autobiographical and took place in Perth where Sivan grew up and the personal feel to the music videos and the songs themselves emits sympathy and understanding from audiences.
The feedback for the videos was positive and the storyline added more meaning to the already emotional songs. Taking inspiration from artists that have previously told stories with their music videos such as Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson, Sivan said he wanted to create something that told his story and captured the viewer’s imagination.
Ahead of the release of Blue Neighbourhood, high profile artists sent their support, expressing their excitement for the album with Sam Smith and Adele among his supporters.
Blue Neighbourhood offers a smooth sound and thoughtful lyrics throughout, a signature style for Sivan. Most songs on the album tell of heartbreak and the negative impact of homophobia and as an openly gay artist, it is clear that the issues are close to his heart. For years Sivan has used his popularity to raise awareness of LGBT issues and the support available and this album is no different.
While the album has its fair share of slow and meaningful songs such as Too Good and Talk Me Down, more upbeat tracks like Youth and Wild round the record off nicely. Guest artists make an appearance too with Australian singer Betty Who featuring on Heaven, a deep song that looks at the link between homosexuality and Christianity and suggests that they don’t always go hand in hand.
if there is a heaven, but i cant be myself up there, then, maybe i dont want heaven
ㅡ troye sivan
— MILKPLUS (^^;;?)♡ (@milkplusanyway) December 5, 2015
Sivan isn’t afraid to tackle issues that others often shy away from and speaks openly of the problems that openly gay people face. He previously said that he wanted to create a pop record with ‘he’ pronouns as there weren’t enough songs that did that for gay men like himself to relate to.
Each song has something different to offer with catchy beats featuring on all the tracks and clear unloading of feelings of different situations that are relatable for everybody.
For someone that had never performed a gig before the release of Blue Neighbourhood, his first shows in America sold out within 5 minutes, a trend that is set to continue as he announced 2016 tour dates this week for America, Australia and Europe. Sivan will be playing the Manchester Academy on 18th April 2016.
Sivan also performed on American television this week when he sang Youth from Blue Neighbourhood on the Jimmy Fallon show, showing off his style and impressive vocals. Accompanied by a live band, he danced along the beat looking stylish and relaxed.
He has done interviews on radio and television stations in the UK over the last few months and appeared as a co-host in BBC Radio 1’s teen awards in November.
At only 20 years old he has already taken the world by storm and his charm and style have captured the hearts of teens and adults alike. Blue Neighbourhood is set to be a success and hopefully this won’t be the last we hear of Troye Sivan.
By Emily Wilson