There’s a tenderness that underlies much of Troye Sivan’s music, even in some of its brightest moments. On In a Dream, the crying-on-the-dance-floor feeling he so often excels at is concentrated and strengthened. The EP comes almost exactly two years after the Australian artist’s second album, Bloom, and it’s clear that he has not only lived an emotional lifetime since, he’s learned even more about expressing it musically. The singer, songwriter, actor and former YouTube star’s diary-entry lyrics feel at once relatable, youthful and profoundly intimate.
Wistful opener “Take Yourself Home” finds the singer in a bind, unhappy in his adopted home of LA: “I’m tired of this city, scream if you’re with me/If I’m gonna die, let’s die somewhere pretty.” It’s a sentiment that echoes particularly clearly in 2020, in which Sivan, who grew up in Perth, left America for Melbourne to be closer to his hometown friends and family during the pandemic. Though only 52 seconds long, the lo-fi “could cry just thinkin about you” is a brief but beautiful, woozy ballad that captures Sivan in a moment of heartbreak and loss. And “Rager teenager!” is a sweet, slow-burning retrospective, with Sivan addressing his younger self and reminiscing about his indulgent younger years: “I just wanna go wild, I just wanna f**k s**t up and just ride/In your car tonight/In your bed tonight.”