Troye Sivan has been in the public eye since his childhood, before reaching serious fame as a teen YouTuber. He released two EPs, and in 2018 his album “Bloom” went platinum as he snagged a feature from Ariana Grande. Now in quarantine, Troye has been gearing up to release another EP “IN A DREAM,” dropping singles “Easy” and “Take Yourself Home.” The latest single from the project is “Rager teenager!,” which Troye released as a surprise track, writing on Instagram, “surprise! 👹 wrote a song + made a little video for it.”
“Rager teenager!” opens with surges of an electronic organ-like instrumental. “Hey you,” Troye begins, making it clear that this will be a song sung at someone, “Sleeping and spending nights, wasting time/Never thought I’d see you again in my life…” In quarantine, a lot of people have rediscovered past hobbies, habits and parts of themselves that they buried away. Troye is singing to his inner teenager, found once again in a swarm of isolation and broken hearts.
In the chorus, the electronic background is brought forward, like air lifting up beneath wings. Troye sings, “I just wanna go wild/I just wanna f**k sh*t up and just ride/In your car tonight/In your bed tonight/I just wanna sing loud/I just wanna lose myself in a crowd/In your arms tonight/Or in his arms tonight.” Troye is singing about the desires of youth. The need to feel alive, to feel free, to feel in control, to feel something without fear of judgement or scorn. He’s singing about a reality that existed before the pandemic, full of crowds packed with strangers and car rides filled with friends.
Troye continues in the chorus, the key shifting to a darker sound, “Hey, my lil’ rager teenager/Tryna figure it out/Living a season of screaming…I’ve missed you around…” Troye is endearingly speaking to the past version of himself. He’s referring to the confusion and anger of being young, particularly as he hid his sexuality from the public until he was freshly 18. Being trapped inside has returned many people to the feelings of repression that gripped them during their earlier years, and Troye is speaking to the return of that past version of himself. After lots of growth, his “little rager teenager” is a different person from who he is now, but it’s bubbling to the surface once again with another “season of screaming.”
Percussion begins, as Troye continues to sing over the melancholy beat, “Where you been hanging out lately?…Why you been acting like a stranger? Feelin’ alive, a teenager…Feels kinda cool in the rager…” Troye’s teen version of himself became distant, but now he’s holding on to this part of himself, trying to remember what it means to feel alive. An instrumental break concludes the song, the swells and waves of electronic sounds wrap the piece, sounding like the representation of personal highs and lows.
Perhaps this is a semi-rare personal sentiment from me because of the age I was when discovering him, but Troye Sivan’s music will always mean youth. His early music was all about young love, suburbia and the feeling of your childhood slipping away. “TRXYE” and “Blue Neighborhood” forever capture the feeling of being so excited and yet so terrified by life in general. On “Bloom” Troye reminisces about his late teen years on “Seventeen,” which explores his formative physical experiences. His debut song from “Blue Neighborhood” was fittingly titled “YOUTH,” and was all about handing your heart and teen years over to someone else – now that time has been reclaimed. As a YouTube star, Troye Sivan’s teen years will live forever, but now he gets to define how he interacts with them.
Imagine that someone turned the tunnel scene from “ The Perks of Being a Wallflower” into a song, and there you have this track. “Rager teenager!” brilliantly captures the feeling of being young, feeling trapped, full of emotion and so desperately ready for and fearful of what is coming next.
You can stream “Rager teenager!” everywhere now.