Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Liner Notes: Troye Sivan’s ‘Something To Give Each Other’ bursts with queer joy and desire

Singer-songwriter+Troye+Sivan+jolts+back+into+the+music+scene+with+an+album+that+is+dazzling+in+its+exuberance.++
Illustration by Yash Markendey
Singer-songwriter Troye Sivan jolts back into the music scene with an album that is dazzling in its exuberance.

Troye Sivan’s third studio album “Something To Give Each Other” pulses with the electricity of pleasure, queerness and of course, sex.

One of few to successfully make the crossover from teen YouTuber to chart-topping artist, Sivan gained popularity with his iconic “Coming Out” video in 2013. His first two albums, “Blue Neighbourhood” and “Bloom,” came out in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

Five years and one long-term relationship later, “Something to Give Each Other” carves Sivan into his own niche of pop that is mature, confident and charismatically hedonistic.

The release of the “One Of Your Girls” music video accompanied the album on Friday.

In the video, Sivan performed in full drag while draped over heartthrob Ross Lynch, a casting choice that sparked controversy for its lack of body diversity. Rather than a display representative of the general population, Sivan opted for someone who is representative of the ideal. This is not Sivan’s only controversial artistic work, as he was recently featured in HBO’s “The Idol,” which received backlash for violent, misogynistic and sexualized depiction of characters.

The video and the album both barely feel tethered to reality. The track itself, however, is grounded as it takes on the gay trope of pining over a straight man, which it captures in a Y2K vocoder and beats typical of Charli XCX. Understated yet punchy, “One Of Your Girls” captures Sivan at his finest.

Sivan’s two singles on the album are sharp and carnal in their production. “Rush” and “Got Me Started” amassed virality on social media, with the former inducing a rush through high tempos and metallic vocals and the latter sampling “Shooting Stars” by the Bag Raiders. Both evoke an image of a sweaty, claustrophobic rave and deliver sexual and emotional liberation above dancey house beats.

The album’s second track, “What’s The Time Where You Are?” is not dissimilar in sound with its confident take on long-distance relationships. In that same vein, the penultimate track, “Honey,” is electrified with Sivan’s indulgence in a rave, demurred by feather-light vocals.

Sivan hasn’t totally relinquished the soft simplicity of his past discography; other tracks of the album give the listener some room to breathe. The boozy “Still Got It” is a bruised ballad about the one that got away. The song is backed by guitars and a Frank Ocean-esque church organ.

“Can’t Go Back, Baby” is a nostalgic break-up song that is as nightmarish as it is dreamy. A folksy vocal sample of Jessica Pratt’s “Back, Baby” creates a contrast of visceral one-liners to gauzy vocals, giving the track a haunting quality.

“Silly” takes desire and distorts it by reveling in a The Weeknd-esque haze. A blend of delicate and seductive vocals accompanies a mix of Spanish and English with Guitarricadelafuente on “In My Room.” The last track, “How To Stay With You,” feels retro in its grittier vocal delivery, spunky saxophone, keyboard line and lyrics reminiscent of The Beach Boys.

In “Something To Give Each Other,” Sivan dances the line of tension between what we desire and what we feel with a nuanced, delicate exploration of lust and male hypersexuality. The album is a kaleidoscopic look at sweetness and hunger, an intoxicating snapshot of a queer artist rejoicing in sexuality in all its forms.

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