Troye Sivan’s third album, Something to Give Each Other, is a cohesive mixture of club and dreamier pop sounds, boasting a total of three singles out of a ten–track record. Though boundary–pushing, the album shines as a healthy progression from his past singles and features, with some sonic similarities to 2020 release “Easy” with Kacey Musgraves featuring Mark Ronson and 2021 solo release “Angel Baby.”
“Rush” starts off the album on a high note with house–style production and pulsating dance beats. It’s sexy, it’s upbeat—à la Kylie Minogue and other fellow Australian pop stars that merge sex and club sonics. The pre–chorus rises into a summer groove that feels fitting for sunset at a rooftop bar, rife with synthy vocals and quick catchy verses. “Rush,” too, has garnered support from fellow cult pop stars like Charli XCX who made a Tiktok of the song, dancing in an outdoor pool. The song’s music video brings it to life with a colorful dynamism, matching its club beats and rising tempo with artistic adventure. Feminine and masculine sexuality are boldly on display, with dance and constant movement. Sweat, exposed skin, and alcohol litter the screen in a compelling collage of grime and euphoria.
“What’s The Time Where You Are” is similarly upbeat, which is not found in the rest of the album. Sivan proclaims this era as glossy, international, and cosmopolitan. Gliding across its beat, Sivan sings to a lover in another time zone, asking if it's better over there somewhere halfway across the globe. “I’m right on top of this groove, but, God, I wish it was you,” he sings to a faraway land.
The album then takes a slower, sadder turn on tracks like “Still Got It,” where Sivan reminisces on memories with an old lover who has moved on. Much of the lyrics imply the man he sings to in the song was straight or closeted, conferring with themes in other songs on the record. Synths and vocal layering make much of the dreamy environment of the song, with the instrumental outro dragging out conflicting sounds and static cuts, perhaps an intentional undercut of confusion to complicate the otherwise more tranquil track. Sivan spoke in depth in a promotional interview on the Zach Sang Show, where he discussed his experiences with closeted men who use queer men for attention or validation as well as the debilitating effect it had on his self worth.
Primarily standing out is the music video for “One Of Your Girls,” the third and final single off of the album. The video begins in black and white, with numerous male faces highlighted across the screen, perhaps most notably of which is artist and actor Ross Lynch. After the first thirty seconds, sudden cuts appear—in color—of a woman applying lipstick and getting dressed, finally revealing herself fully after Sivan winks knowingly at the camera. Understood to be Troye Sivan in drag, she continues and eventually finishes the music video with dance and performance. Her scenes giving Lynch a lap dance are tense and sexual, but most of her solo shots leave a lingering sense of melancholy. There is a desperation under all of her beauty, one that underscores the greater message of the song—Sivan is so infatuated with a straight man that he is willing to offer himself in whatever form the man will accept, whether or not he feels respected or validated in doing so. The filmography of the video, too, is brilliant, with timeless, almost Y2K aesthetics that still feel deftly accurate and modern.
Indeed, for all of the pulsating and party themes, there is a tangible sadness radiated by this album. Thematically, much of the album’s complexity comes from this very contrast and synchronous use of both euphoric, hedonistic party elements with its more reserved, contemplative themes. And, a lot of the album is in first and second person, as Sivan speaks directly to someone, whether a fling or an ex–lover, confirming the project’s confessional quality. It’s interesting, using the removed, rather impersonal sonics of house music to divulge yearning and longing.
Something to Give Each Other shows Sivan’s unique artistic growth in a pop industry that can feel contrived and overdone. His unabashed use of queer themes and experiences in his art emboldens the authenticity the final product. Notably, the real standout of this era has been the music videos, bringing a visual dynamism to the music; without the music videos, this era would be perhaps only half as compelling. Sivan’s dedication to character, daring use of aesthetics, and dance skills uplift this project to make it particularly persuasive—and meant for the big screen.