Sivan’s second album targets the mainstream – with songs about Grindr and post-coital languor, wrapped in goth reverb
We live in a polarising era for pop. There are those who believe it is a golden age for chart music, which has expanded its horizons to fearlessly tackle the kind of topics once thought unsuitable, from feminism to mental health. Equally, there are those who aver it is a time of unprecedented musical homogeneity and everything in the Top 40 adheres to a more strictly confined set of sounds and tropes than ever before. But whichever interpretation you cleave to, perhaps we can all agree that Troye Sivan’s bid for mainstream superstardom – of the kind where millions of units are shifted, and new releases are announced via giant electronic billboards in Times Square counting down the days – is a unique one. Golden era or nadir, you just don’t get – and indeed never have got – many 23-year-old artists aiming for vast pop success by releasing singles about losing one’s virginity as a bottom and informing the press that their music is influenced by ethereally gothic art rock collective This Mortal Coil, best known for their deathless 1983 cover of Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren.
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