Album Review: WILD by Troye Sivan

In the age of the Internet, you don’t need a record label or a TV network to reach a loyal fanbase. These days “millennials” have YouTube, Soundcloud, and other various “user uploaded content” sites. With this freedom comes various hits and misses in the quality of the posted content. However, when things get good, they get really good. So good in fact, that some YouTube personalities and musicians have published books, produced TV shows, been signed by major labels and even launched their own makeup and beauty products sold in major retailers. In that group of #TeamInternet is Australian singer/songwriter Troye Sivan, who just released his latest EP, “WILD.”

This 20 year old has been in the YouTube game for a few years now, and at first it was just a hobby that was not particularly music related. Though he had dabbled with singing as a child performer, it was acting that got him his “big break.” Starring in films such as “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and the popular UK film series “Spud.” Soon after, he decided to start a YouTube channel. To date he has almost four million subscribers and about 203 million views, but it wasn’t until 2013 that he released his first viral single “The Fault in Our Stars.” The hit caught the attention of Universal Music and soon he signed a record deal and released his first EP, “TRXYE,” in 2014 with its first single “Happy Little Pill” gaining over 17 million views.

Now we’ve arrived to the present day and the release of his fourth EP, “WILD.” The six-track mini-album has been grabbing rave reviews and going #1 in over 40 countries. You can sense the maturity in the songwriting, vocals and visuals chosen for this project. After releasing “TRXYE,” he took a year to really work these new songs and develop this whole musical and visual idea that is now being set in motion. For the majority of this summer on his YouTube channel, he released teasers for the music videos and samples of the tracks to give fans a glimpse into what the new music was going to sound and look like. The first single and full video “WILD” went viral almost instantly, probably because Troye is seen embracing and kissing another guy. As an openly gay artist, Troye has explained that this music is going to tackle relationship and life struggles that anyone could have, he’s just going to be using male pronouns.

This video is the first installment in what Troye is calling the “Blue Neighborhood Trilogy,” so the EP is the first of more to come. “WILD,” in my opinion, is one of the strongest pop singles that has been released this year and I applaud him on making it the lead single for this EP. Also, I believe it provides a good sample for what you’re going to get tone wise for the rest of the album. If you enjoy “WILD,” then the other five tracks will suit your fancy just fine.

The second track, “BITE,” is another favorite of mine. The instrumental opening is very “Imogen-Heap-esque” and intriguing enough to make you want to listen to the rest, which does not disappoint. The next track “FOOLS” starts off as kind of a piano ballad, yet quickly transitions into a dreamy, dancy, electronic anthem with a rousing chorus for all those who have been wronged in love with the phrase “only fools fall for you.”

The seemingly popular BROODS makes an appearance on the next track “EASE.” The opening beat and overall feel of the song does sound like something BROODS would do (either them or Charli XCX or even Ellie Goulding), but to me it’s not necessarily the strongest track.

However, “THE QUIET” makes up for the lackluster precious track. This song has almost a jazzy, easy listening feel to it. Troye’s vocals and ear for melody shine on this track and make a good transition to the final track “DKLA.” This brooding, eclectic, number has my favorite feature on the EP by one of my favorite new artists Tkay Maidza. As a fellow Aussie, her and Troye make this track a memorable closer with its dark and haunting chorus and Tkay’s quick and sassy delivery.

Overall, I think this EP is a great indicator that Troye has great new music and visuals shooting through the pipeline for the remainder of the year. Lyrically, I couldn’t get enough of this album, with lines like “distance makes the heart grow fonder said by someone stronger than me” and “…cause when you look like that, I’ve never ever wanted to be so bad….” I’m certain he has many more stories to tell.

Rating: 4.8/5

Purchase the album on iTunes, and check out the whole album on Spotify right now!

 

By Trent Lira

Albums

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