When I first listened to Sivu’s new EP, I Lost Myself, and sat down to write this review, I had no idea what to think or say about it. I knew that I had liked what I heard, but that was about it. No unified thought or image of the EP immediately jumped out at me. Nor did any sort of descriptive analysis. I simply could not find a cohesive critical mindset to settle into. That is because on I Lost Myself, Sivu exposes a different creative facet of himself on each track. In fact, it seems as if Sivu, known elsewhere as James Page, wrote three songs and gave each one to a different band.
The EP starts with its title track. I Lost Myself, which sounds like a withdrawn version of MGMT and offers an entrancing spaciousness despite its unmoving beat. From this first track, it is quite obvious that Page’s voice is the star of the show. He has the elusive “it” that makes a voice instantly memorable and recognizable, even as it dances through octaves and twists in tone. On an EP with three new songs (and two remixes) that sound completely different from one another, his voice is the glue that holds it all together.
Track two, Coldhands, is arranged as if for a piece of chamber music, and exists on the opposite end of the musical spectrum to I Lost Myself. Yet, with the help of Sivu’s versatile voice, the switch from relaxed electronica to folk does not seem as abrupt here as it might in other places. Instead, the change of pace actually makes the subdued arrangement of Coldhands all the more resonant. This song was the immediate favorite of the three for me, and with its opening lines, “Cold hands, I will try to hold life with love a’plenty. And though sand, it will slip through, I’ll do my best to hold on to you,” the song also has the most lyrical depth and strength on the EP.
Sivu continues to shake things up with the third new original track. Communicate, offers the first use of an electric guitar on the EP, which is gently held up by an ambient synth. This song brings you to lofty heights, where Page’s voice enters the top of its register and he takes you to “swim in the stars.” Yet, where some voices would break or take on a piercing tone, Page maintains a vocal quality that is full of life without losing its characteristic sorrowful softness
Although at first potentially perplexing in its eclectic construction, I Lost Myself is positively enjoyable and moving. Sivu has the ability to reinvent himself entirely on three successive tracks without sacrificing his voice’s identity, which makes for a vocal performance that is stunning. If at first you find yourself like I did, scratching your head, don’t give up. More reveals itself with each listen, and before long the only thing you will be scratching your head over is how one singer can do so much.