‘Something to Give Each Other’ is Troye Sivan’s descent into a brand new, addicting sound

Troye Sivan reveals a brand-new, addicting sound

Review: The singer’s third album boasts his take on a world of sexuality and sweatiness, plus an unexpected sample.

Troye Sivan
Stuart Winecoff

South African-born Australian singer and actor Troye Sivan has been in the limelight since childhood. He acted in blockbuster films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, garnered 1 million Youtube subscribers, and fully launched his professional music career in 2013. With multiple top 10 singles and 8 billion streams to prove it, Sivan amassed great success domestically and internationally.

Besides a select few of Troye Sivan’s songs like “Youth,” “Angel Baby,” and his 2020 collaboration on Allie X’s “Love Me Wrong,” I have not paid full attention to his range of music. Fast forward to the immense popularity of “Rush” and you have me fascinated. As the first single off of Sivan’s most recent album Something To Give Each Other, his new sound and aesthetics are obvious.

“Rush” opens the album with a smooth House sound, complete with a shouting chorus and waving vocals creating a chaotic and raw feeling you would only feel in a packed dance club. The track provides contrast between the sound and speed of the rest of the album; it primes the listener for the consciously repentant tone found within the rest of the record.

Later in the album, sounds boast disco-pop and synth-pop genres, meshing the overall danciness with a feeling of slight remorse for having too much fun. “What’s The Time Where You Are?” “One Of Your Girls,” and “In My Room,” featuring Spanish singer Guitarricadelafuente, establish themselves as the most pleasurable track run within the record. Invoking warmth and desire for love and attention, these songs form a canvas of saturated and sensual work where the album can truly move within itself. 

“What’s The Time Where You Are” is a global display of curiosity. With phrases in English and Spanish including a frankly stated “Troye Baby, last night was f—–g crazy” followed by a corrective “No, no, no, anoche, una p–a locura.” The song demonstrates the sheer enjoyment of the night – something akin to chatting with a friend after doing questionable things a few hours back.

Featuring American actor and singer Ross Lynch sitting seductively, shirtless, and waiting for his next partner, the music video for “One of Your Girls” presents Sivan in full drag as he clings to Lynch. The visual and lyrical pairing solidifies the message of the song: being on call for a guy questioning his sexuality makes for a special yet problematic dynamic. 

“In My Room” features a Spanish verse by Guitarricadelafuente, demonstrating Sivan’s fitting use of English and Spanish. Though a surprising feature for Sivan, it marks his understanding of the rising popularity of Spanish in the music industry. The singers mesh vocally and sonically, displaying strong infatuation with someone after longing to experience those same complex emotions. The melodically driven and disco-pop song further extends the sensitivity of the moments the artists portray. It’s one where the artists hope to last in the moment forever.

The album does however make a turn for more emotional and regretful songs like “Still Got It” and “Can’t Go Back, Baby.” Although these tracks fell to a weaker production in comparison to others, they still invoke the general regretfulness of past relationships. Thankfully, they don’t derail the album’s route to its latter half. Some sources have aligned these tracks with Sivan’s ex-boyfriend, Jacob Bixenman, whom he dated for a few years before ending the relationship back in 2020. Alongside the more mid-tempo sound of the rest of the record, these two tracks are not stand-outs.

On the other hand, “Got Me Started” shows a smooth and intuitive sample of “Shooting Stars” by Australian duo Bag Raiders. The song’s melody, recognizable as a meme song on Vine and Instagram, was used by Sivan to create a layered, UK Garage sound. Although the sample seems frivolous given its context, “Got Me Started” does a great job of balancing seriousness and ironic fun. 

The songs “Silly,” “Honey,” and “How To Stay with You” give the album’s closure an effervescent curiosity of the future, while keeping the ongoing mellow, mid-tempo tone. “Silly” is forgettable; though, “Honey” is easily my favorite track on the album. Hyper-pitched synths and a funky feel within the House-heavy song, Sivan displays cool, flowing vocals that allow the listener to embody the ending of a good night: a brisk walk home after pure satisfaction. The final song “How To Stay with You” gives the album a funky ending where a sax solo lends the album a non-ending, giving the listener more to hope for.

This album is one of the year’s top pop albums, giving Troye Sivan a great reintroduction as a well-matured pop star. Something To Give Each Other manifests a new level for Sivan: new popularity with a hopeful and fun sound. It gives him the proper creative space to enter a new musical field where he can root himself into a solid place in the pop world.