Sivu has announced plans for his debut album, 'Something On High', which will be released via Atlantic Records on October 6. This follows Sivu's recent 'Miracle (Human Error)' EP, which garnered support across Radio 1 (Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Greg James, Phil & Alice), 6Music and XFM. Already confirmed for this year's Reading & Leeds, Bestival and Wilderness festivals, Sivu has also announced an intimate UK tour for October, featuring a London show at Oslo on October 14.
Sivu has won widespread acclaim - and comparisons with the likes of Wild Beasts, Beck and Bombay Bicycle Club - for his idiosyncratic take on pop. His debut album, 'Something On High' is a beautiful set of starry, dark-night-of-the-soul symphonies: songs that shimmer with minor chord melodies and fluttering beats, but also move variously into aggression, orchestration or stillness. It was written in a period of transition for 24-year-old James Page, firstly following the move from a sleepy town of Cambridgeshire to the twentieth floor of an ex-council block in Kennington; and then from working in a call centre to his debut video for 'Better Man Than He', filmed inside an MRI machine, going viral. The name Sivu, which is originally Finnish, emerged when searching for translation of his surname: strange but memorable, it's a fitting snapshot of the conflicted and lyrically direct mirror-image that would become his solo alias.
Lyrically, 'Something On High' is a nuanced synthesis of the mundane with the divine. As his mind wondered amidst sales calls from the office, Sivu became fascinated with biblical stories and their narratives of tribulation, courage and faith (a topic which, not being religious, James was surprised to find himself returning to). It's a theme that would go on to influence early tracks like 'Bodies', 'Miracle' and 'Better Man Than He' (all remixed for the album), and indeed the title itself: the album is based on Vincent Van Gogh's Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate'), which the Dutch post-impressionist finished two months before committing suicide. In letters, he described it as a meditation on how "the strongest pieces of evidence for the existence of 'something on high', namely in the existence of a God and an eternity, is.the fact that [anyone] can have moments of emotion that give him a sense of an eternal home that he is close to."
This search for connection, meaning and identity are rife within Sivu's debut album: a stunning soundtrack of time spent settling into a new city, young-adulthood, and the eternal search for - whatever it is - something on high.
Sivu - 'Something On High'
1. Feel Something
4. Better Man Than He
5. Can't Stop Now
6. Love Lives In This House
7. My Oh My
8. Miracle (Human Error)
Fri Aug 8 UK Yorkshire Beacons Festival
Sat Aug 9 UK Cornbury Wilderness
Wed Aug 13 UK Inverness Ironworks
Thu Aug 14 UK Ullapool The Ceilidh Place
Fri Aug 15 UK Stornoway Isle of Lewis Woodlands Centre
Sat Aug 16 UK Aviemore Old Bridge Inn
Fri Aug 22 UK Leeds Leeds Festival
Sun Aug 24 UK Reading Reading Festival
Sat Sep 6 UK Isle of Wight Bestival 2014
Sat Sep 27 UK Gloucester Underground Festival
Tue Oct 14 UK London Oslo
Wed Oct 15 UK Brighton The Hope
Thu Oct 16 UK Manchester Soup Kitchen
Fri Oct 17 UK Glasgow Glad Café