Review: A song on expression, existentialism and emotions

By Loren Hillier

So, Troye Sivan is a pretty cool dude. Raised right here in Perth, Australia, the now 21 year-old started gaining popularity from his YouTube channel on which he would sing and create comedic lifestyle videos. Now, he has toured the world with his first full-length album. See? Cool, right?

HEAVEN‘ (linked is the music video, it’s seriously powerful) is one of the heavier tracks on the record Blue Neighbourhood (2015), in which Sivan discloses the struggle he had with coming out as gay. Sivan opens with the lyrics:

“The truth runs wild / Like a tear down a cheek / Trying to save face and Daddy heartbreak / I’m lying through my teeth.”

The first line, “the truth runs wild” is repeated throughout the song, explaining how fast word spreads, especially for someone with such a heavy social-media presence. With homosexuality being a somewhat (a lot of us are really accepting of this community, but some still are not) controversial topic, it can mean having to deal with possible backlash with no preparation, and that’s a pretty scary prospect. Sivan also discusses how he kept up the façade in hopes of protecting the feelings of his friends and family, which only ended up with him suffering more. Other lines of the first verse include:

“This voice inside / Has been eating at me / Trying to replace the love that I fake / With what we both need.”

“Trying to sedate my mind in its cage / And numb what I see.”

The suffering is so clear in these lyrics— it’s hard to imagine the struggles Sivan and so many others have been through at such a young age. He sings again of trying to hide and even change his sexuality for the better of those around him, and an attempt to convince himself that what he is feeling is untrue.

troyeHEAVEN / Troye Sivan

The chorus is almost a plea-turned-confession— perhaps to God, perhaps to anyone willing to listen.

“Without losing a piece of me / How do I get to heaven? / Without changing a part of me / How do I get to heaven? / All my time is wasted / Feeling like my heart’s mistaken / So if I’m losing a piece of me / Maybe I don’t want heaven.”

Sivan has spoken about the questions that arose when he started to realise he might be gay, and quite a few of them surrounded the existence of God and heaven, amongst finding love, having a family and the like. As Sivan started to become more comfortable and self-aware, he started to realise that if he can’t live his life as himself, maybe it doesn’t matter if there is a heaven or not— he doesn’t want to have to fake his way there.

I can only imagine that this song would act a great musical alternative of support for anyone in the same position as Troye. Even though society as a whole is becoming more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, divulging anything about yourself is often harder when it comes to friends and family, and yourself.

If you take anything from this song, let it be that you don’t have to hide such a huge part of yourself for the benefit of anyone else— and that goes for anything, even a passion or an aspiration that might seem absurd to those around you, but is something that you love.

If any of you readers feel the need to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to contact Beyond Blue, or even reach out in the comments of this blog. I’d like to think I have a pretty warm community, but any haters will definitely be told goodbye!

So keep talkin’ and offering up that support teens!

(And you there! Yes, you!)

References

A-Z Lyrics. (2015). Troye Sivan lyrics – Heaven. Retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/troyesivan/heaven.html

Sivan, T. [Troye Sivan]. (2015, November 21). HEAVEN ft. Betty Who – BLUE NEIGHBOURHOOD. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOsr4w49dxk

Sivan, T. [TroyeSivanVEVO] (2017, January 19). Troye Sivan – HEAVEN ft. Betty Who. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VNV__mV38s

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