It’s fairly evident there is something special about Troye Sivan.
With only two studio albums under his belt, he has captured the worlds attention through his openness and ability to craft intelligent and beautiful pop songs.
‘Bloom’ is a coming of age album, an album of self-discovery. One that is relatable to anyone who listens.
The songs are a stunning mix of familiarity and modernism, likely due to the time Troye has had to create this album. Working with some amazing musicians (Ariel Rechtshaid, Alex Hope, Oscar Görres, Sophie Payten) he’s managed to encapsulate everything that makes good pop music good.
Album opener ‘Seventeen’ sets the bar high with direct lyrics attached to a strong arrangement. He teams up with songwriters Brett McLaughlin and Allie X (who also worked on his debut album ‘Blue Neighbourhood’). They have shared a story about being young and looking for love. Who hasn’t been there? I can directly relate to the words and experience here, but it’s also open to interpretation, which I love.
Title track ‘Bloom’ is as much about the overtly direct lyrics as it is the clear nod to the ’80s. With full drums and a beat made for a catwalk strut, it’s full of life. The song most talked about for its lyrical subject matter, it’s actually the sonic layers that grab my attention. Every time I listen to it, I hear a different harmony, melody or lyric that keeps me interested multiple plays later. Yes it feels retro, but it also feels so 2018.
‘Plum’ is my favourite song on the album. The melody just worms its way into your subconscious and I find myself busting out the chorus at the strangest moments (apologies to my co-workers who have no idea why I’m singing about plums at the moment). About not taking relationships for granted, it’s a clever bit of writing that paints some great visuals as you listen. Take note of guitar melodies post chorus – they’re guaranteed to get stuck in your head.
The best part of ‘Plum’ though? The final chorus with just Troye and a piano. He has one stunning voice showcased beautifully here.
The vulnerability of ‘The Good Side’ is entirely sorrowful yet cathartic at the same time. This is the most beautiful moment on the album for me (among many others) and it’s clear writing is therapy for him. It’s very different to other songs included on this set, which makes it stand out. Yet it connects to all the other songs brilliantly.
One of the things I love about ‘Bloom’ is that each time you listen to it, you hear something new. A new harmony, a new context to lyrics or a new instrument. It’s so sonically rich that it continues to be enjoyable time and time again making an easy repeat listen.
As a songwriter, Troye has grown massively. The maturity, thoughtfulness and clear stories shine through on every song. They feel effortless which is a sign of something well loved and well laboured over.
It’s definitely been worth the wait.
I know the year isn’t over yet, but if this were a cassette in my Walkman from the ’80s, it would be one of the most worn ones in my collection. Put simply, ‘Bloom’ is my album of the year.
It has smart songwriting, catchy pop melodies, great storytelling and slick production all rolled into one. It’s honest and it’s personal.
Troye keeps going from strength to strength as an artist and he’s producing some excellent homegrown pop the world has fallen in love with.
VERDICT : 5/5.
MUST LISTEN : Bloom, Plum, Seventeen.