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In 2015, the legitimacy of the so-called millennial generation, their musical tastes, their idols, their means of communicating with one another, is a constant discussion point amongst those slightly older cultural crusaders, who are adamant that it is really them who know what’s worthy of our collected attention and respect.
The immediate writing off of anyone who dares grab the popularity of the “culturally void” teen girl demo or utilise multiple avenues of newer digital expression to its fullest extent has become a fairly accepted trend amongst those who consider themselves “in the know” and I for one am calling bulls**t on the whole thing.
Compare for example this year’s earlier release of Daniel Johns’ new music and Troye Sivan’s new album WILD. Johns’ music is critically adored and covered on commercial and indie media to the point of saturation, whereas WILD, I’d posit, will be ignored by self-claimed ‘legitimate’ music media.
The argument goes that Daniel Johns earned his respect as an artist, through a grungy musical upbringing, years in recluse and a Triple J hued comeback whereas Troye is just a pretty boy with millions of YouTube fans who had a major label construct a musical identity around him.
Despite how utterly bulls**t and ignorant that perspective is, I dare you to find much dissimilarity, in terms of production quality and creative intent between Aerial Love and WILD.
At the core of all of this is the subconscious fear of usurpation, that the next generation, with their Periscopes, Patreons and Pinterests, are coming for them, armed with a level of technological savvy and a soaringly ambitious mindset unseen before now, to take over the cultural landscape and in their eyes, lower the level of artistic integrity.
The fact that this generation’s artists can not only release a high quality album, but run a successful YouTube channel, command millions of followers via Twitter and helm the other elements of an expanding media empire all at once, scares the the s**t out of older generations. And it should, because they’re already doing it better then anyone before.
Troye’s new release WILD is an incredibly proficient dose of smooth electro-pop and deserves every bit of the all-caps, emoji-littered twitter endorsements it will no doubt receive as well as critical adoration I fear it may miss out on.
Titular opening track WILD dips and rises seamlessly around a kids chorus reminiscent of Justice’s D.A.N.C.E with erratic percussion elevating the chorus to epic indie-pop, sing-a-long territory whilst Bite allows Troye’s preternatural lyrical ability (for someone his age anyway) to take the fore under a relaxed, stretched out electronic refrain amid injections of sparkling synths that wouldn’t be amiss on a Flume track.
Elsewhere on the album DKLA featuring the flawlessly chosen collaborator Tkay Maidza hums with a dangerous energy before detonating with Tkay’s sublime licks supplying the proverbial cherry and Ease, alongside kiwi duo Broods, brings a mid-album punch of swirling melodies with some tropical flourishes courtesy of a faded xylophonic drumbeat.
WILD is a confident, utterly impressive second release from a voracious new talent which never takes the easy, expected route, delving into atmospheric indie pop and dancier, woozy electro with surprisingly deft moves. To pass it off as anything else or to marginalise it because of Troye’s particular journey and/or his fanbase is a disservice to his undeniable talent and the next-wave of music and its consumers in general.
Bash the next generation all you want, but when you’re dead and clutching your limited edition Silverchair vinyls in your space graves orbiting the moon, this generation will be ruling the cultural world with reckless abandon and I for one welcome our new millenial overlords, namely Troye Sivan.