Sivu announces second single, ‘Bodies’

“Deft, delicate production…stunning” NME Radar

“Beautiful” Sunday Times Culture“Both comforting and emotionally arresting” Line of Best Fit

“Effortlessly instant pop songs, laced with sentiment and bright ideas in equal measure…quite the talent” This is Fake DIY / Neu

“An unusual blend of dreamy melodies…impressive” Wonderland

Sivu will release his second single, ‘Bodies’, on June 3 via Third Rock Recordings – the follow-up to the breakthrough ‘Better Man Than He’, which received over half a million hits, and saw extensive radio support across the likes of Huw Stephens, John Kennedy, Phil & Alice and Steve Lamacq. Sivu will play a single launch for ‘Bodies’ at Chats Palace, which recently hosted The XX, on June 4, following extensive touring through April & May.

For anyone who’d ever wondered, Sivu’s stunning debut video showed us precisely what goes on inside a musician’s head, after the 24-year-old volunteered to be filmed singing live within an MRI scanner. It was quite the first impression. Inspired by research into cleft palates taking place at Barts Hospital, Sivu’s music was quickly heard far beyond the call centre in Waterloo, where he presently still chooses to works. “The response to ‘Better Man Than He’ was so overwhelming,” he says now, “but I wanted to set the bar for this project. We made something as honest and simple as possible.”

‘Bodies’ proves that there is more to Sivu than just the delicate beauty of ‘Better Man Than He’ – it’s an urgent and insistent piece of left-field pop, with its mix of acoustic and baroque atmospherics bearing closer influences from the likes of Wild Beasts or Arcade Fire. As befits that unique stage-name (Sivu is his surname in Finnish), this is bigger than the solitary “singer-songwriter” tag might usually suggest. The ‘Bodies’ EP was also produced by Sivu’s long-standing collaborator Charlie Andrew; the Mercury-Award-winning producer behind Alt-J’s ‘An Awesome Wave’. The two are now working on Sivu’s debut album.

Sivu is building a distinct world around his strange songs, with both the contemplative optimism of ‘Better Man Than He’ and the Noah’s Ark apocalypse of ‘Bodies’ depicting an unusual, biblical thread. Not being a religious person, it’s a subject even Sivu was surprised to find himself exploring. “I love artists like Kate Bush and Arcade Fire, who use these subject matters to drive other emotions. I wanted to write about ideas that were bigger than me.” A mix of the personal and the mythical, the animals-walking-two-by-two march of ‘Bodies’ in fact describes “a time in my life when everything was a mess. I just loved the idea of wiping the slate clean.” And if ‘Bodies’ draws hope from the idea of flooding the past, the rest of the EP is no less brooding: ‘Sleep’ is brutally honest and sonically heavier, whilst ‘God Speaks In Tongues’ ask questions of someone who can’t explain themselves to you.

He may have started his career in the MRI-lights of a ‘singing brain’, but Sivu’s songs have a consistently examining edge – and they’re ultimately optimistic. Working in a call centre has instilled “a stronger work ethic” in the 24-year-old, whose imagination has been left to run riot. You sense Sivu may not work there much longer.

April 18                  St Mary’s Church                                                  Ashford (with The Staves)
April 19                  O2 Academy                                                         Oxford (with The Staves
April 20                  Arts Centre                                                           Norwich (with The Staves)
April 22                  Komedia                                                                Bath (with The Staves)
April 23                  The Gate Arts and Community Centre             Cardiff (with The Staves)
April 24                  Scala                                                                       London (with The Staves)
April 25                  Scala                                                                       London (with The Staves)
April 27                 Privatclub                                                              Berlin (with The Staves)
April 28                 Bitterzoet                                                              Amsterdam (with The Staves)
April 29                 AB Club                                                                  Brussels (with The Staves)
May 30                   Point FMR                                                              Paris (with The Staves)
May 2                     Leadmill                                                                 Sheffield (with The Staves)
May 3                     Gorilla                                                                    Manchester (with The Staves)
May 18                   UEA LCR                                                                 Norwich (with Benjamin Francis Leftwich)
May 19                   Brudenell Social Club                                          Leeds (with Benjamin Francis Leftwich)
May 20                   O2 ABC                                                                  Glasgow (with Benjamin Francis Leftwich)
May 21                   Northumbria University                                      Newcastle (with Benjamin Francis Leftwich)
May 22                   HMV Institute                                                        Birmingham (with Benjamin Francis Leftwich)
May 23                   The Forum                                                             London (with Benjamin Francis Leftwich)
June 1                    Bushstock Festival                                                London
June 2                    Wychwood Festival                                             Cheltenham
June 4                    Chats Palace                                                          London:
June 22                 Ousburn Unplugged                                            Newcastle
July 28                    Lounge On The Farm                                          Canterbury

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