While 2015 wasn’t necessarily THE BEST year for pop music (or music in general, really) it certainly is ending stronger than it started. Case in point, Blue Neighbourhood, the absolutely STUNNING debut album from 20 year-old South African-born, Aussie newcomer Troye Sivan. Since the album’s release last Friday, December 4th I’ve had it ON REPEAT non-stop. While I don’t think I’ll have time to make a ‘Best of 2015’ list this year, I’ll tell you right now—Blue Neighbourhood would be on it. To celebrate this über-tight collection of dreamy synthpop gems, I’ll be giving away 3 copies of Blue Neighbourhood. The contest ends next Friday, December 18th and is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. For more details on how to enter, see below.
Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Troye Sivan, he’s a 20 year old singer-songwriter signed to EMI/Capitol, as well as a MASSIVELY popular YouTube sensation. While Troye uploaded videos of himself singing to YouTube starting in 2007, in 2012 he took things to the next level and started VLOGGING (video-blogging). He has since amassed close to 4 million subscribers on his channel. While I consider myself pretty well versed in social media, one channel I’m virtually unfamiliar with is YouTube. Now, of course I know how to use YouTube for watching music videos, live performances, etc.—I am completely oblivious to YouTube culture and the personalities associated with it. Sure, I know some of the big (gay) ones—Tyler Oakley and Davey Wavey, for instance but there’s an entire VLOGGING culture that’s completely foreign to me. On the music front, YouTube is doing what MySpace did for artists like Lily Allen in the mid 2000s—acting as a virtual launchpad for budding artists by giving them a platform that allows them to attract their fanbase organically. The more fans an artist has on YouTube, the more views their videos get, which then gets the label’s attention and the rest is history—assuming their talent and fanbase are strong enough to sustain a career. Troye Sivan is just the latest YouTuber to crack the music mainstream, but he’s not the first to achieve commercial success. British R&B singer Alexa Goddard for instance, managed to land a Top 40 hit on the UK charts. Other artists that got their starts on YouTube—Esmée Denters, Greyson Chance and arguably the video channel’s biggest success story—Justin Bieber, who was discovered on YouTube and signed with Usher.
After releasing a couple of EPs independently, Troye Sivan signed with EMI Australia in 2013 and released his first major label EP, TRXYE on August 15, 2014, lead by the single “Happy Little Pill.” The EP went on to debut at No. 1 on iTunes in over 55 countries—INSANE! Here in America, TRXYE managed to land an impressive No. 5 on the Billboard 200. In September of this year, Troye released his follow-up EP called Wild, followed by a trilogy of music videos for the songs “Wild,” “Fools,” and “Talk Me Down,” all three with a continuous “Blue Neighbourhood” theme.
Blue Neighbourhood is a beautiful album through and through. I’m especially impressed by the honesty and maturity coming through in the lyrics, well beyond what I thought a 20 year old was capable of and seemingly soo deeply personal. Sivan’s delicate yet confident vocal-style balance well with the album’s dreamy pop production to create a consistent and highly pleasurable listening experience. Initially, when I heard the singles—”Wild,” and “Youth” on their own, they didn’t do anything for me but now, listening to them as part of this collection I find myself completely and totally immersed in this shimmery synthpop soundscape Troye Sivan has created for us and I don’t really want to leave. Favorite Blue Neighbourhood tracks include “Ease” his duet with New Zealand brother-sister duo BROODS, “Heaven,” a warm hug of a song featuring fellow Aussie starlet Betty Who. Another favorite song of mine—an adorable little pop-romp called “for him.” featuring Allday, a 24 year old Australian rapper. The album features production but Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Kanye West), Alex Hope (Tina Arena, Jessica Mauboy), Caleb Nott (1/2 of Broods), Jack Antonoff (fun., Bleachers, Taylor Swift), and songwriting assistance from Grimes, Allie X, Broods and others. Blue Neighbourhood might have overtaken Carly Rae Jepsen as my favorite pop album of the year…well maybe not but it’s a close second.
After a string of live dates in small venues, Troye Sivan will be hitting the road once again in February, kicking off a massive (SOLD OUT) 25-city North American tour in support of his album, Blue Neighbourhood.
Check out Troye Sivan performing “Youth” this past week on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and enter my giveaway below.
Check Out Troye Sivan Online
- Contest ends Friday, December 18th
- Contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only
THE PRIZE (3 WINNERS):
- One copy of Blue Neighbourhood, the debut album from international chart-topping artist TROYE SIVAN, featuring “Youth” and “Wild,” “Fools” and more! OUT NOW! http://troye.si/
Troye has been featured in Out Magazine (Out 100 2014, Top 10 Most Eligible Bachelors 2015) & The Advocate and other notable publications.
HOW TO WIN:
- Like us on Facebook (if you haven’t already)
- Follow us on Twitter at @fool_4_music
- Fill out the FORM below, including your name and email address.