Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Troye Sivan – Wild

Does not do exactly what it says on the tin.


Jonathan Bogart: Boy looks at Charli XCX and Lorde. Boy thinks, “hey, I could do that.” Labels give him way more support and a stronger push than they’ve ever given similarly-positioned women.

Alfred Soto: Rather tepid for this Miguel/Weeknd arrangement. Fuck it — let’s call it “Tepid.”

Thomas Inskeep: I was skeptical considering his background as a “YouTube star,” but Sivan’s got some chops, and smart taste in collaborators. Producer and co-writer Alex Hope has worked with plenty of other Aussie pop stars, and Sivan himself has a good feel for lyrics. There’s a lot of teenage ache-cum-angst in his vocals (he just turned 20, so he’s allowed), so I believe him when he sings “Never knew lovin’ could hurt this good” over surging electropop beats, which mitigate but never overwhelm the song’s wistfulness. 

Brad Shoup: It could be anyone singing on this; Sivan sighs like that’s a distinguishing characteristic. It’s pretty chill though, like a Peter Bjorn & John comedown track.

Edward Okulicz: For a while last year, there was a 2-metre advertisement with Sivan’s face on it near one of the entrances to Town Hall station in Sydney. By contrast, his blase affect (possibly ironic given the title) is surprisingly tiny. It’s an affect that works out of a female popstar but just sounds unengaged from a dude. Not that the song gives him much to do with.

Scott Mildenhall: He sings of being wild, but sounds more like he’s thinking about being wild, how they made him feel wild, and the attendant complications highlighted by the video, which is very hard to extricate from the song when listening. They both form part of a wider concept (still being drip-fed to fans in a 2015 fashion), and it all ties together, right down to the carefree child chorus running through. As a result, those shouts actually become haunting; at the very least melancholic. Sivan doesn’t sound wild any more, he’s remembering being so. If he is wild, it’s only at wild’s loss, and his vocal limitations lend themselves to suggestions of sincerity that make the juxtaposition of him and that youthful joy into something beautifully puncturing.

Will Adams: Hey, that Years & Years album was pretty good, wasn’t it? Gotta revisit that.

Reader average: [6.71] (7 votes)

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8 Responses to “Troye Sivan – Wild”

  1. I agree with people saying that the musical arrangement here is kind of staid, but there’s something so sexy and true about “kissing up on fences and up on walls” that’s so terribly specific. I think it really does capture the thrill of being a romantic LGBT entity in public that many songs don’t/can’t capture. Even the smallest open gestures feel so transgressive in the best possible way.

    But those childs going “Wah-ah-ah-illld” definitely ruin the atmosphere.

  2. I had no idea the song coded as queer until I learned about him a couple days ago.

  3. The push the label gives him isn’t all that surprising, given that he has over 3.5 Million Youtube followers already and his first single did pretty well in Aus/NZ. I don’t think there really ever has been a woman in a similar position.

  4. The third chord and sixth chord (I mean in the order of the progression, not chord qualities) need to be switched and the chorus instantly becomes better.
    Great production and mixing here though — which is unsurprising considering it’s Tom Elmhirst doing the latter.

    Elmhirst also did Deadwater by Wet, which I’m likely going to pick for amnesty because it’s so good.

  5. @Josh spot on! I’m trying to figure out why that 9th tone over the I chord (on the “drives me wild“) didn’t sound right to me

  6. I had a busy week and completely forgot about this! But I’d rate it with an 8 and I agree a lot with Scott’s blurb.

    I think that part of Troye Sivan’s popularity is thanks to his Youtube channel. I’m not denying that it’s more difficult for women to succeed, but I’m not sure if it’s all about that this time. It doesn’t surprise me that Troye Sivan was supported by the industry because he already had a faithful audience that would support his music.

  7. “deadwater” is such a great song, i’m proud of you, fellow josh

  8. so I ragged on this song a bit when it came out (e.g., the chord progression comment) but wow his follow up Youth is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.

    The whole album’s pretty solid, actually.