With his latest project “In A Dream,” 25-year-old pop musician Troye Sivan finds himself at his most vulnerable. “In A Dream” is Sivan’s heartbreaking follow-up to his 2018 sophomore release “Bloom,” which peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 charts. It’s everything you would expect from Sivan—fun, danceable production paired with melancholy lyricism.
However, in the past two years, Sivan’s career has been everything but melancholy. He has been generous with pop collaborations, working with big names like BTS, Charli XCX, Lauv and Kacey Musgraves and even surprised fans with numerous high-profile appearances, like his cameo in Ariana Grande’s 2018 “Thank U, Next” music video and strutting the stage with Taylor Swift on her “Reputation” World Tour.
“In A Dream” opens with the wistful lead single “Take Yourself Home,” which is a gloomy, yet catchy ode about Sivan’s unhappiness. On this calming track, Sivan has found himself “lost in the city” that is Los Angeles, searching for the place to call home. The singer’s vocals flow effortlessly over the incredible electronic production in a style that only Sivan himself could craft.
On the EP’s second single, “Easy,” Sivan somehow manages to twist an apology for cheating into a fascinating dance floor anthem. It’s a perfectly concocted combination of synth-pop and incredibly sad lyricism that is both agonizing and beautiful.
“could cry just thinkin about you” is a particularly new sound for the singer, as he explores a more 70s rock sound. The fatal flaw of this track, however, is its length. At only fifty-two seconds, it leaves you begging for more.
A standout selection from this project, it is almost criminal that Sivan would release “STUD,” while gay clubs are closed. In it, Sivan details his own personal explorations of casual sex over an infectious dance-pop production. It’s packed with lust and desire and might just be one of the more flirtatious releases of Sivan’s discography.
Conversely, the true sadness of the soft and smooth “Rager Teenager!” comes from how reminiscent it is of a pre-coronavirus time. Sivan croons about losing himself in a crowd while wrapped in his lover’s arms. The song’s beauty comes with stunning harmonies that Sivan has laid over an almost chaotic drumline—but it works.
The first ten seconds of final track, “IN A DREAM,” are proof enough that Sivan has been spending too much time with frequent collaborator Charli XCX. It is the most uplifting cut from this project, with Sivan finally finding his footing after a difficult breakup. It’s dreamy. It’s honest. And, it might just be one of the best tracks Sivan has ever released.
On “In A Dream,” Sivan crowns himself as king of crying on the dancefloor. It’s a project that doesn’t sound like it could be performed by anyone but Sivan himself. He opens up about some of the most difficult moments of his own heartbreak, no matter how much of a struggle that might be.