TOTT #6: SIVU
Since sweeping into 2013 with the painfully captivating lullaby ‘Better Man Than He’, Sivu has grown both in style and stature. The Alt-Pop of his earlier work has perhaps evolved more into Odd-Pop, with a huge sense of the peculiar in his more recent compositions: an incredibly tasteful strangeness. The rise in reputation was simply inevitable; such talent should always be noticed and rewarded.
The sheer brilliance of Sivu’s year is evident through the prominence of his gigs. As well as dates in Amsterdam and Berlin, Sivu opened the crow’s nest at Glastonbury last summer, surely a highlight of his lucrative year. It seems he hasn’t stopped touring either, joining huge names such as Benjamin Francis Leftwich, London Grammar and Stornoway as support act on their UK tours. Yet what demonstrates most success is the audaciously groundbreaking music video for his first single. The video for ‘Better Man Than He’ has gone on to receive more than 500,000 views on youtube, 3:23 seconds of MRI scan footage, inspiring work from director Adam Powell.
Amongst the mass of gigs, Sivu has somehow managed to write, record and release an abundance of quite brilliant music. His ‘Bodies’ EP, introduced before the summer, is really an inspiring piece of work. The title track stands out especially, dark and powerful, emphasised by a forebodingly enchanting chorus that lingers in the mind of the listener. Later release ‘I Lost Myself’ follows the example left by Bodies – almost seamless in style. Sivu applies his incredibly skilful song writing ability, sometimes reminiscent of Alt-J with similarities in percussion and vocal line, which culminates in a curiously unforgettable song.
The highlight of the year for me however has to be the recent release of ‘I Hold’, featuring the enigmatic Marika Hackman. This hauntingly majestic tune has the same evocative feeling as most of Sivu’s work, with his vocal tone boasting many similarities with Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman – a significantly soft voice: mesmerisingly unique. This little opus demonstrates the creativity of two radiant musical minds, coming together with exceptional consequences.
Undoubtedly Sivu’s journey to stardom is gaining fierce momentum, destined for the recognition that his music most certainly deserves. With 2014 on the horizon, this hugely talented act finishes the year alongside collaborator Marika on a 5 date UK tour. The past twelve months have been undeniably spectacular for the promising Sivu, let the spectacular long continue.
Words by Matthew Varty
Generator North East, The Manse, Kingsland Church Studios, Priory Green, Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 2DW
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