It is probably no surprise that the next big thing in pop music should arrive by way of new media. On his second major label release, it appears Troye Sivan has successfully migrated from YouTube wonder boy to respectable recording artist.
There’s always a sense of disillusionment when social media musicians try to forge a music career out of singing covers on video-sharing websites. But with the young wide-eyed Australian singer-songwriter, worldwide domination seems imminent on his fourth extended play.
You hear it in the haunting depths of the stunning Fools. It’s an extraordinary piece; beautifully arranged and with the sort of simultaneous candour and detachment that you would expect from the post-Facebook generation.
“Everything is shattering and it’s my mistake,” Sivan reflects over dark and dreamy synths before dropping that middle-finger verse down the road.
If the brilliant debuts from the likes of Fiona Apple and Lorde have taught us anything, it’s that one should never underestimate the power of youthful introspection in pop music. And yet, the refreshing maturity displayed by 20-year-old Sivan still has a disarming quality. The only thing remotely juvenile here is the children’s chantings on the opening title track.
Over minimalistic hypnotic electro beats delicately informed by a rebellious streak of mainstream noncomformity, the Perth native effortlessly delivers retrospective and enigmatic numbers. You won’t find the saccharine undertone of contemporaries such as Cody Simpson, Austin Mahone and – if we were to stretch the age limit – Carly Rae Jepsen.
Unsurprisingly for a twentysomething dude, the themes weave between coming-of-age (Ease) and wretched relationships (DKLA). But what sets Sivan apart from the other teeny bopper acts is the way the songs are carted through poetic verses made even more significant by his lush and clear vocals.
At six-track long, WILD is a brief, albeit fantastic, showcase of moody and modern electronic pop music.