It’s time we acknowledge the truth: Troye Sivan is the future of pop music.
Bloom, his new album, is the triumph of that transformation. It is the work of an astonishingly accomplished singer-songwriter; a powerhouse collection of ballads and pop bangers that feels as personal and autobiographical as anything Sivan has ever released.
It’s been less than a week since Bloom‘s release, and already it’s hit iTunes #1 in 46 territories, and iTunes Top 5 in 70 countries. SEVENTY. COUNTRIES. Alongside an insane amount of positive reviews from highly regarded music publications worldwide, and 1 billion Spotify streams, of course.
Bloom is the triumph of that transformation. It is the work of an astonishingly accomplished singer-songwriter; a powerhouse collection of ballads and pop bangers that feels as personal and autobiographical as anything Sivan has ever released; so what he’s achieved so far is really no surprise.
Prior to the release of Bloom, we spoke with Troye about writing and recording this phenomenal album. Check it out below:
Don’t Bore Us: Blue Neighbourhood came out three years ago and you’ve been through so much since then. I was just wondering; how did you take what you’ve learnt in that time through the writing process of Bloom?
Troye Sivan: That was probably the biggest force in writing this album: everything that I’d learnt since I released the last one. Just my whole life has changed so much. When I wrote the first album, I was really, really still finding my feet. And though I totally still am, I just feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed. I’m just way happier in my personal life and I’ve had all these crazy experiences work-wise.
Also, I think knowing how to make an album really helped, because the first time I had no idea what I was doing. This time, it was about just feeling confident enough to be in the studio and suggest an idea that maybe sounds crazy or maybe is terrible. Like, having the freedom to be able to try stuff and know that’s how people make music. Because when I first started, I assumed everyone had this secret formula or something – these rules that I just didn’t know. It took me a while to learn that everyone is literally just figuring it out. It was way different this time.
DBU: I guess in the three years since Blue Neighbourhood, you’ve been through a lot. Did you feel a lot of expectations on you when writing this album?
Sivan: I sort of did but honestly, I didn’t really have a lot of nerves or anything. I was mostly just excited because I was ready to get back in the studio. I felt that I had learnt so much and grown so much as a person that my main thing was being excited to try and do better than the first album.
It’s one thing if your first album is a masterpiece that you’re so proud of and everything. I’m really proud of my first album but at the same time, I know there is so much that I would want to try and do differently and want to change. I was really just excited to give it a go.
DBU: One of the songs that really stuck out to me was ‘Postcard’. Listening to the lyrics, I felt like it must have been so difficult to sit down and write, knowing people would be dissecting it. Did you feel that difficulty, knowing that once this is out in the world, your stories will be there for people to tear apart and make their own meaning from?
Sivan: The hardest part is playing it for the people in my life because they’re the ones who are really affected by it. When it comes to everyone else, I’m a fairly open person. Also, music is a space that I feel really comfortable expressing almost anything in. That part doesn’t intimidate me as much as playing it for my parents or playing it for my boyfriend. That’s the scary part.
DBU: Bloom is so musically diverse; there are some more guitar driven tracks and piano ballads, but you’ve got the dance elements still going with it. So, where did the inspiration for that come from?
Sivan: It came from all over the place. My musical inspirations this time around were so just all over the place. Everyone from the Velvet Underground and The Smiths to Sky Ferreira.
It was kind of a bit of a mess of references and [producer Ariel Rechtshaid] actually was the first person I talked to about it. I had this playlist that I talked him through. I was like, ‘I really want to try something like this and I really love this vocal production and I really love this guitar sound.’ He was the first person that was like, ‘Oh, I get it. This is going to be really cool.’ So, that was my thumbs up to keep going and try it.
Then as well, I think almost above everything else, I feel like a songwriter. I have no perspective on the album because it’s mine and I made it, but I hope that it sounds consistent and that it make sense. But if it doesn’t, that’s because I was having fun and just trying stuff as a songwriter first and foremost. You know, not stressing too much about what’s the sound or whatever.
DBU: I was wondering – what’s your favourite track and why do you love it?
Sivan: I’m going to say ‘Animal’, because I think that one really checks off all of the goals that I had when I first started making the album. I wanted to write love songs and ‘Animal’ is a love song.