New York – NEW YORK (AP) — Troy Sivan originally intended to begin his third full-length album with a ballad, a wistful song looking back on a lost love. Then he thought again. Friski was the right choice.
“I want people to know that I’m okay. Things are good. Life is fun. Sex is great,” he said in an interview. “From the moment they clicked on the album, I wanted to slap them in the face.”
The first song, and first single, is “Rush,” filled with house and EDM beats topped by a male choir that together create the atmosphere of a crowded nightclub or a strobe-lit rave.
“I knew I was feeling a feeling in my life that I hadn’t yet refined,” Sivan said. “When we finally got ‘Rush,’ I thought, ‘Okay, this is exactly how I wanted it to feel and convey the message I wanted to convey.'”
“Rush” — the first image in the film is of a man’s butt being slapped — is the final song added to “Something to Give Each Other,” Sivan’s 10-song follow-up to 2018’s “Bloom.” Complete return.
“I think everything contributed to this,” he said. “When I remember the first album, I remember being stressed out and having a lot of self-doubt and imposter syndrome in my head. On the second album, I became more confident and found my footing, but still not 100% knows how to get from point A to point B.”
On “Something to Give Each Other,” the Australian singer-songwriter flexes her production muscles more in the LGBTQ+ space, adding interesting sounds and even a duet on a song that’s partially sung in Spanish .
“I just took my time this time. I went to a place I loved and worked with people I loved. It was truly a joy,” he said. “There wasn’t a day that I felt gutted, stressed, or crying while making this album. I’m very happy about that.”
This new album has the potential to catapult Sivan into the ranks of today’s pop elite. In 2015, his debut albums “Blue Neighborhood” and “Bloom” both entered the top ten of the Billboard 200 album chart.
“I didn’t really feel the pressure to prove anything this time,” he said. “I definitely feel freer to do what I think sounds coolest and best conveys the story.”
Sivan’s long list of collaborators over the years includes Ariana Grande, Alessia Cara, Charli XCX, Lauv, Zedd, Betty Who and PNAU. He appeared on Kacey Musgraves’ “Glittery,” which topped the 2019 Hot Country Songs chart. This time he collaborated with Guitarricadelafuente on “In My Room”.
Sivan, 28, says the thrill of songwriting keeps him coming back, describing it as an unpredictable process where control is illusory no matter how good you are.
“As corny as it sounds, there’s a certain magic to it,” he said. “Let’s say you can go into the studio two days in a row and be in the exact same studio with the exact same people. One day it happens and the other day it doesn’t. I don’t know what the difference is between those two days.”
There’s a bit of studio magic in “Let Me Get It Started.” Sivan and producer Ian Kirkpatrick slowed down the chorus and then returned it to normal speed, giving Sivan’s voice a choppy and unstable effect.
“I think before I might have been like, ‘Oh, you can’t really hear me,’ and that might have been a hindrance. Now I’m like, ‘No, this sounds really cool and I like it.’ ‘So I thought, I want to give it my all,” Sivan said.
On one song, “One of Your Girls,” Sivan turned to a vocoder, which synthesized his voice.
“The song really grabbed me when I realized we had to convey this numbness, this feeling of dissociation. I was like, ‘Okay, we’ve got this character, like a sad robot or Like everything else. So desperate for connection, who’s trying, but for whatever reason, can’t break through.”
During the pandemic, Sivan gave fans the In a Dream EP, an experimental and unsettling album that undercut the singer’s bravado. During the interview, he revealed that he was going through a breakup.
“I was going through that low moment, and all I wanted most was ease, fun, community and being with people,” he said.
“That really set me on the path to this album and gave me a very clear idea of what this album should look like, feel like, sound like.”
Mark Kennedy at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits