No one courts parasocial intimacy quite like Troye Sivan

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No one courts parasocial intimacy quite like Troye Sivan

Words by Bryget Chrisfield

“I feel the rush/ Addicted to your touch” – anyone else visualise a macho, ripped cheerleading squad performing Rush’s choruses? Just us? O-kay, then…

Given that Rush – and its accompanying film clip, featuring glory holes and orgiastic chorey that even manages to incorporate the swigging of bevvies to the beat! – is this scribe’s second-fave song of the year (maybe even decade), behind Kylie’s Padam Padam, just imagine my extreme delight upon discovering Troye Sivan’s entire third album is *chef’s kiss*!?

The fact that it clocks in at just over 30 minutes is our only criticism – talk about coitus interruptus! 

He came out on YouTube ten years ago, aged 18, and no one courts parasocial intimacy quite like this unapologetic global superstar and queer icon. After Troye did an Insta callout to source multilingual voice notes of people saying, “Last night was fucking crazy”, the chosen snippets were scattered throughout What’s The Time Where You Are? (he then had to slide into their respective DMs to obtain proper permission). This jetsetting, luv’d-up highlight also contains the record’s most brazenly suggestive lyrics: “I’m right on top of this groove/ But, God, I wish it was you.” 

Troye has said that the sultry, slowly gyrating One Of Your Girls was written about experiences he’s had “with guys who had not previously been with guys, and were showing [him] interest”. “Everybody loves you, baby/ You should trademark your face,” he sings – over vocalisations that evoke a choir of angels – before adopting his self-described “sad robot voice” for the choruses. 

From its title, you could be forgiven for thinking Still Got It – which is built from funereal keys, no drums – is a braggy song, but just add “…bad” and it becomes something else entirely. “You touch me in the back seat of the party bus on Tenth Street/ Kinda confused me…” – obsessive ex disorder sure is a drag, huh? 

Samples are used, back to back, to great effect as well: Can’t Go Back, Baby’s titular chorus parts – lifted directly from Jessica Pratt’s Back, Baby – issue repeated reminders, like Troye’s niggling inner-voice insisting it’s time to move on, and the stylophone hook from Bag Raiders’ Shooting Stars elevates subsequent track Got Me Started. 

There’s propulsive club bangers, slow bops and moments for reflecting on past dalliances, and Something To Give Each Other also reminds listeners that surrendering to desire, no matter how fleeting, can be super-fun. We sure hope Troye’s time spent cutting sick in Smith Street’s gay clubs between lockdowns inspired the playful, horny pop songs on here.   

Fun fact: During an interview, Troye admitted he took a hit of poppers during the Rush cover shoot to authentically recreate that specific flushed look – how’s that for dedication?