Troye Sivan opens up on his most recent record
With “Something To Give Each Other,” Troye Sivan gives listeners a glimpse into his private world — an exploration of his new life following the end of his four-year relationship with model Jacob Bixenman. Sivan explores the highs and lows of love, specifically relating to his experiences as a queer person, in the tight and clean ten-track album.
“Something To Give Each Other” starts strong with the lead single, “Rush,” which has already made the rounds on TikTok. The uptempo and upbeat track immediately transports you to the dance floor. Unfortunately, “Rush” is the shortest song on the album, at just two and a half minutes.
“Rush” is followed by another dancy track, “What’s The Time Where You Are?” Featuring echoey layered voiceovers, the song details Sivan’s experiences in a short-lived long-distance relationship. Throughout the album, Sivan writes about these small sparks following his breakup with Bixenman, but they are almost always followed by a more mournful track, like “One Of Your Girls.”
“One Of Your Girls” is a standout track on the album. The prominent bassline, reserved vocal style, and buildup into the synthesizer outro create a sneakily sad song about Sivan’s experiences falling in love with straight men and being treated as “an experiment.” Sivan writes about keeping these relationships secret and the ways he often felt used.. Of the unique vocal effects in the chorus, Sivan explains, “We wrote three different choruses and ended up coming to this sad robot thing, inspired by a movie I’d seen. Even that spoke to the way I’d felt: like I was expected to be there when they wanted me, then disappear when they freaked out, then be there again when they wanted. Like this emotionless object.” This is one of the most compelling tracks on the album, as this queer experience that hasn’t yet been explored in a mainstream pop song like this one.
The following track, “In My Room,” brings the mood back up slightly. With an adolescent energy, it explores the confusion of being in an undefined relationship. Sivan asks himself what he is feeling in this catchy duet featuring Spanish singer-songwriter Guitarricadelafuente.
The next two tracks are emotional odes to Sivan’s exes, beginning with “Still Got It.” Sivan opens the song by painting a vivid picture of someone still in love, changing themselves in the hopes it will get an old partner to notice them. The organs in the instrumental contribute to the mournful mood, and the glitchy outro feels like the memories of the relationship are still playing through Sivan’s head. It’s followed by the emotional peak of the album, “Can’t Go Back, Baby,” which samples folk singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt’s “Back, Baby.” Pratt’s distorted voice sounds almost ghostlike, making it feel as though these relationships haunt Sivan.
After Sivan gets these more emotional tracks out of the way, the album returns to a more upbeat tempo . In “Got Me Started,” Sivan begins his process of recovering from his breakup and starts to put himself out there again. He samples the iconic song “Shooting Stars” by Bag Raiders in the track. “Silly” is cool and detached, providing a break from the more exciting tracks that surround it, but still catchy. On “Honey” Sivan sings about accepting things as they come and finding love all around him over a spacey instrumental reminiscent of his early work in “Blue Neighborhood.”
“How To Stay With You,” closes the album with Sivan’s voice echoing over a saxophone solo, singing “Starting again when I got all I wanted.” Sivan describes the track as an “open-ending,” tying together themes of personal growth after failed relationships and staying hopeful despite not knowing what the future may hold.
This is Sivan’s best work to date, and though it may not be the most unique, it is a great pop album. Sivan explores not just the rush of meeting someone new, but also the emotional repercussions that follow. As a queer person, he provides a fresh perspective on topics that have been revisited time and time again in pop music. From dancy tracks to breakup ballads, “Something To Give Each Other” has something for everyone.
Josey Merolli. Hey, I'm Josey (she/her) and I'm entertainment editor! More »