Troye Sivan is a name that is likely to become very well known in 2016, and having played his album – Blue Neighbourhood – on repeat since its December release, it’s easy to understand why. Sivan’s newest selection of tracks, which range from dreamy to melancholic, upbeat to pensive, are sure to hold your attention.

Sivan’s voice has a distinctive, soft quality which you can’t help but be drawn to, making the vocals in each track almost hypnotic, especially along with emotive lyrics and sparks of synthetic strokes and pulses. Some of the most popular songs from the album are the three thematic songs ‘Wild’, ‘Fools’ and ‘Talk Me Down’, which craft a melodic storyline of hope and despair.

“Sivan’s voice has a distinctive, soft quality which you can’t help but be drawn to”

‘Wild’ successfully illustrates the oxymoron of a painful longing amidst a carefree summers day, captured by bittersweet lyrics sung to the entrancing backdrop of lazy beats and tranquil synths. The second of the trio, ‘Fools’, is more melancholic than the first, evidenced by its wistful words set against harsh tones and a lingering introduction that leads into a wave of electro-rhythms. ‘Talk Me Down’ is a haunting end to the trio. Far from the pacy beats of other tracks on the album, it is this sad, yet refreshing change in mood that helps this song to stand out, whilst adding to the album’s overall diversity.

Other highlights on Blue Neighbourhood include the upbeat ‘Youth’, the diverse and edgy ‘Bite’, and the dreamy hues of ‘Blue’. A fair few of the tracks are collabs with other artists, who were well chosen as their voices meld seamlessly with Sivan’s.

Against the album’s better tracks, however, there are one or two songs that are less memorable. Whilst they carry a similar ambience, they pale in comparison to some of the other, more sensational songs. Nevertheless, I found that almost every song has its own special mark that makes it unique, and there is a song here to suit every mood – whether it’s in the background whilst revising, a tune to go for a stroll to, or simply when you’re in need of a good tear-jerker.

“Almost every song has its own special mark that makes it unique, and there is a song here to suit every mood”

Overall, this album is definitely worth a listen. The range it offers means that most people will find a few songs that appeal to their taste. Having produced such a commendable first album, it is intriguing to suppose where Troye Sivan’s next album will take him. Undoubtedly, Blue Neighbourhood has set the bar pretty high.

Bryony Hunt

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