I will admit that I totally and completely forgot about this guy after his enormous success with My Happy Little Pill in 2014. It wasn’t that long ago. I totally adored the hauntingly beautiful qualities of the song that seemed to remain with me long after I had finished listening to it that first time.
And then last night I heard Talk Me Down for this first time in its entirety and I went to bed thinking about it. I woke up thinking about it some more. I wondered what Blue Neighbourhood was. What it meant. So I Youtubed him and it was the best decision I’ve made this week.
If you haven’t done so already I really do urge you to go and find him on Youtube. Blue Neighbourhood is Sivan’s new studio album, released to critical acclaim and includes a trilogy of songs with accompanying videos which follow on from each other. The videos follow the story of two young boys, growing into two young men who fall in love.
The first of the three, Wild, is a somewhat light-hearted pop song. There is something so optimistic about the lyrics “leave this blue neighbourhood, never knew loving could hurt this good…”It marries perfectly with the childlike quality of the backing vocals, which fit together with a video that follows the growing friendship between two young boys. They are best friends, totally living in each other’s every waking moments. It’s full of optimism, of life and what will surely become more between them in the sweetest kind of way.
The second, Fools, takes a slight turn. It evolves from the childish optimism of Wild and focuses on a broken dream. “I see a little house on a hill and children’s names…[b]ut everything is shattering and it’s my mistake, [o]nly fools fall for you…” There is a sad quality to the song, which sees the young boys, having grown into teens at the end of Wild, share their bodies with one another and profess a love you just know goes beyond any sort of normal understand. They are torn apart by a homophobic father, resulting in one of them making a gut-wrenching decision to then take a girlfriend. He has to. And it hurts them both.
The final part of the trilogy, Talk Me Down, evolves even further from Fools. “I wanna sleep next to you, but that’s all I want to do right now. I wanna come home to you, but home is just a room full of my safest sounds… I’d rather fuel a fantasy than deal with this alone…” The lyrics are heart-wrenching. The music, a slow and haunting, Troye’s voice, so filled with helpless emotion is so truly sublime I don’t really know that I can concentrate on anything else but his voice when I listen to it. The video closes out the trilogy in devastating fashion. It is cruel and heartbreaking but shows just how truly scary and catastrophic homophobia can be. And it makes me cry every time I watch it. And I very rarely cry.
Invest some time in this young and stupendously talented, Australian artist. I don’t think I’ll be making the mistake of ever forgetting him again.