Amidst all the coronavirus chaos, an EP is a good place for an artist to play with new ideas and provide a pinpoint of where they’re at and what relief they can share, without the pressure and commitment of a full album.
Given the lyrics on his brand new EP In a Dream, you’d think that Troye Sivan is going through some rough romantic drama alongside the global pandemic, but the Australian singer-songwriter has instead been digging out some old feelings to experiment with.
“A story that’s still unfolding, this small collection of songs explores an emotional rollercoaster period in my life when the feelings and thoughts were most shockingly fresh,” explained Sivan. “Revisiting these songs and moments is tough, but I’m proud of this music and excited to have it out in the world.”
What’s produced is a 6-track concept EP that combines intimacy and vulnerability with jagged energy. Effortless sunset pop is blended with house-infused beats, providing both a space to cry as well as a space to have a dance break (which to be honest we’re all in dire need of).
The opening track “Take Yourself Home” released at the beginning of April is a key marker of the EP, blending Sivan’s hazy vocals with an infectious bassline that melts into more jittery electronic synths.
Upbeat tracks “Easy” and the EP’s title track “IN A DREAM” exude 80s pop style releases, while the distorted vocals of the short and sweet “could cry just thinkin’ about you,” the bold and frantic “STUD” and the passionate “Rager teenager!” make for blissful slurry pleas.
In a Dream hangs on the fringes of the much-loved radio pop from Sivan’s most recent body of work Bloom that fans will adore, whilst dipping into a more sparkly pool of fearless synths. It performs perfectly for the current times, with everyone slowly branching out of states of uncertainty about where they stand and finding their feet in new forms of euphoria.
It’s no surprise that some tracks could use a tiny bit more fine-tuning as Sivan steps out of the conventional pop style, but for an artist who hasn’t even toyed much with song length and layout, Sivan has delivered an enthralling step towards reserving his seat alongside club headliners and electronic artists with 3am festival slots. By the time festivals can be a thing again, he might even be taking their place.