Flesh on flesh: Troye Sivan and the Killers

Two of 2020’s strongest releases unfurl their rainbow flags.

Troye Sivan – In a Dream

In a study of Ezra Pound I’m reading, the writer notes how in Pound “we miss the weight of flesh on flesh, but feel the force of pressures and attractions.” Several years and albums later, Troye Sivan has realized himself. This epicene, impossibly wan Australian has worked to hone his music so that the moos of longing and the damp confessionals resound less than the gem-like expressions of lust. “STUD,” the centerpiece, he justifies the uppercase stylizing: by stressing the last word of each verse, he literalizes this mass of muscle and strength. But Sivan is up to something else. He loves the stud because he wants to be a stud; he longs himself to be an object of desire. “How much of me would you change?” he asks. “My body’s the apple you’re eating,” he adds as the song shifts tempo. OzGo and Teo Halm’s arrangement, with its emphasis on pitch-altered echo and hints of dubstep’s percussive crackles, encourages the self-objectifying. Returning to his Christopher Robin timbre on “Raging Teenager!” he articulates of being young, horny, and quarantined. Ozco’s production complements him: he walls him off with synthesized tinkles until Sivan disappears.

The Killers – Imploding the Mirage

I had more fun writing this review for Pitchfork than any other professional piece in months. Two weeks of thrilling to its swells, swoops, and un-lumpen religiosity, I’m prepared to treasure Imploding the Mirage; I love almost every absurd note.

3 thoughts on “Flesh on flesh: Troye Sivan and the Killers

  1. Your traffic-stopping Killers review sent me down a Who Is This Writer? rabbit hole. Kudos. Mike ToppeNot A Writer Significant social change comes from the bottom-up, from an aroused opinion that forces our ruling institutions to do the right thing. — Senator Paul Wellstone, 1944-2002

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