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The 6 Queerest Moments From Troye Sivan's New Album 'Bloom'
Troye Sivan isn't shy about openly displaying his identity. The 23-year-old pop star from Australia first came out as gay in 2013, posting a video to his YouTube channel to let his fans know that he had been out to some of his family and friends for some time, but that he finally felt comfortable expressing who he truly was to the world.
Following Sivan’s online revelation, his career has seen him, an openly gay artist, bursting his way into mainstream music; he performed on stage with Taylor Swift, covered magazines like GQ and Billboard, and made certified pop bangers that found their way onto the Hot 100 Chart.
Fve years after first coming out, Sivan is owning and asserting his sexuality more than ever on his sophomore album Bloom, out today (Aug. 31). After several months of heated anticipation from his fans, the singer has released his new record, and it's full of bright, shimmering pop songs and quieter, lonely ruminations on the very nature of love.
Sivan goes beyond just using male pronouns when singing about a love interest; from his bouncing track about “flowers,” to another using fruit as a metaphor, Sivan is not just living with his sexuality -- he’s fully celebrating it.
Below, Billboard Pride dives into some of the moments of queer expression on Sivan’s gay-centric sophomore album Bloom.
There is hardly any denying that when it comes to Bloom, the album’s title song is also its queerest. A song that Troye initially teased was about “flowers,” “Bloom” tracks a young man’s desire to show his lover a good time in the bedroom, possibly for the first time ever. The track is full of imagery involving flowers, gardens and nature, and that imagery is hard to look past. Even before Sivan himself confirmed it in a since-deleted tweet, fans recognized that the song could potentially serve as an beautifully-crafted metaphor for bottoming for the first time. Along with the song’s video, showing Sivan dressing himself and strutting in several high-fashion, gender-bending garments, “Bloom” serves as the ultimate expression of queerness on the singer’s new album.
Best lyric: “I guess it's something like a fun fair/Put gas into the motor/And boy I'll meet you right there/We'll ride the rollercoaster.”
On the album's opening track, Sivan details a relationship between himself and an older gay man who ultimately brings him into the fold of the gay community. In an interview with Attitude earlier this year, Sivan said that the track was based on real experiences he had trying to find his way into gay culture -- experiences that terrified him at the time. Those fears, along with the excitement of finally being in a place where you feel you belong, are simultaneously present on the album’s infectious opening song.
Best lyric: “Maybe a little too young, but it was real to me/And in the heat of the night, saw things I'd never seen/Oh, seventeen.”
“My My My!”
With his first single “My My My!,” Sivan reintroduced himself to the world at large, establishing himself not only as a new pop mainstay, but as a queer man unwilling to hide that part of himself. With lyrics detailing a hot, romantic encounter with a male suitor, the Australian singer made it clear exactly what his intention was with his upcoming album. The video played a significant part as well, showing Sivan dancing through a sweaty warehouse filled with attractive men and leaving little to the imagination. “My My My!” shows the singer at the peak of his confidence, in both his attitude and his sexuality.
Best lyric: “Spark up, buzz cut/I got my tongue between your teeth.”
At the surface, Bloom’s seventh track “Plum” could easily be seen as a song about relationships that are simply destined to go wrong. But subtext is important, and “Plum” is full of it, especially in its use of fruit as a metaphor. While Sivan could have used any type of degradable object in nature to describe a deteriorating relationship, he chose fruits, like plums and pears, evoking the age-old slang term “fruit,” which describes a gay person in a derogatory way. Plus, the song makes mention of peaches, which have a sexual context in the gay community for the regular use of the peach emoji -- but also thanks to the pivotal scene in the gay film Call Me By Your Name involving Timotheé Chalamet, the fruit, and a little bit of alone time. It may seem like a stretch, but the imagery in “Plum” certainly evokes a very specific image of queer heartbreak.
Best lyric: “Maybe our time has come/Maybe we’re overgrown/Even the sweetest plum/Has only got so long.”
The penultimate track on Bloom features Sivan singing about how he loves that his lover’s lips taste like Lucky Strike cigarettes. Chock-full of beautiful imagery and direct references to queer imagery, “Lucky Strike” not only embraces a queer romantic relationship, but the furthering of general queer sexual desire. Singing about the texture of his lover’s skin, how he wants his lover to “breathe me in,” and the sexual bliss he feels when they’re together, Sivan paints a vivid picture of how it feels to be in a sexual relationship with someone he deeply cares about.
Best lyric: “And my boy like a queen/Unlike one you've ever seen/He knows how to love me better.”
Bloom closes with Sivan’s stadium-style power ballad “Animal,” a song dedicated to professing his true, deep love for his lover. In a song that sounds like it could have been performed by practically any other major pop singer, its distinction as “an ode to the boy I love” sets it apart — the song deals expressly with falling in love and being engaged in a same sex relationship. That distinction alone makes for an undeniably queer and beautiful ballad to close out Sivan’s mesmerizing album.
Best lyric: "I want you all to myself/Don't leave none for nobody else/I am an animal with you/No angels could beckon me back."