Single Review: Sivu – Miracle (Human Error)

By on Thursday, 19th June 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

Sivu’s next single, ‘Miracle (Human Error)’, got its premiere radio play Tuesday night on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 evening programme. The promo video for the song continues his excellent track record of pairing his thought-provoking lyrics with a compelling story told unconventionally in front of our very eyes. From the very start of the video directed by Georgia Hudson, as we’re confronted with the words, “Are you afraid of death? Because I am too.”, you can’t help but be mesmerised. The single also represents a less alternative, more conventional singer/songwriter style of writing for Sivu, which I think I could pay off for him in garnering a whole new group of fans.

The song itself is made up of pretty dark subject matter. Is it about existentialism? I sense this is the case, at least partially. The expansive chorus of “Because it’s time to collide / This human error’s what were made for / But now were dead inside / We’re ones and zeros of a half lived life” shows Sivu seeming to equate human beings to machines made up of binary code, of discrete yeses and nos, “dead inside” as if our lives have already been chosen for us, “half lived” because we don’t have control over it. Part of this too my guess is pointing towards society’s reliance on technology and how social media and the internet have made us desensitised, emotionless.

But this isn’t the whole story. If you close your eyes and listen to what else and how he’s singing, the vocal delivery is not sad. It’s uplifting, in a sweeping way, and it feels to me like a love song that he’s cleverly hidden amongst truly philosophical issues. If you return to the start of the song and verse 1, he sings of what wonderful things human beings are, with the potential to go on and do great things: “Are we a miracle / Tell me glory / As we’re bound and born / To rule beautiful places”. Yet in the video, we’re presented with images of lonely people in late night situations: drinking alone, lying in bed alone, looking at themselves in a mirror alone. Not so wonderful, eh?

Then Sivu goes on, “We carved a future for ourselves / In our lowest of lonelys”: he is pointing to people who were cognisant of putting themselves in these situations. Further, the lyrics “But still we break like a toy /Without a parachute on / I’m a cog with a glitch so worn / No man can fix / No man can fix” illustrate human frailty beautifully. In contrast to the chorus, he’s acknowledging we aren’t made of steel, we aren’t machines. And that is an inherent quality of being human, just as is “to err is human”, which is what I’m imagining he was getting at with the “(Human Error)” part of the song title: we are human and have the ability to make choices. Some lead to better things and some hurt us, but us having the choice is critical.

Going back to what is at the song’s heart, a love story, the repeated request of “I need a miracle, a miracle” and the most dramatic of all these lyrics, “Are you afraid of death / ‘cause I am too / ‘cause they’ll be no more me / And they’ll be no more you”, are nothing short of enchantingly haunting. Morrissey was right: another important quality of being human is the need to be loved. The beauty of ‘Miracle (Human Error)’ is in recognising we all need to feel love, along with the fact that no one of us is perfect. Yet as humans, we have the power to change, but it has to come from within. Loneliness is not a terminal condition, as long as you’re willing to open your heart, to chance it.

9/10

‘Miracle (Human Error)’, Sivu’s forthcoming single, is out on the 28th of July on Atlantic. Sivu has confirmed appearances scheduled at Tramlines, Beacons Festival, Reading and Leeds and Bestival, amongst others. For a full listing of his summer appearances, visit his official Web site. My previous coverage of Sivu is right this way.

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[…] Sivu’s next single, ‘Miracle (Human Error)’, got its premiere radio play Tuesday night on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 evening programme. The promo video for the song continues his excellent track record of pairing his thought-provoking lyrics with a compelling story told unconventionally in front of our very eyes. From the very start of the video directed by Georgia Hudson, as we’re confronted with the words, “Are you afraid of death' Because I am too.”, you can’t help but be mesmerised. The single also represents a less alternative, more conventional singer/songwriter style of writing for Sivu, which I think I could pay off for him in garnering a whole new group of fans. Read full article […]

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