Whether you’ve heard of him or not, this singer’s new album is worth adding to your “car songs” playlist. The pop star Lauv released a new album on March 6, 2020, titled “~how i’m feeling~”, with a lack of capitalization in true generation Z-style. The album cover features the singer himself in white clothes, sitting with his legs crossed. Six miniature versions of himself, each dressed in a different color, are climbing, sitting, standing, and lying atop the singer. The following quote, taken directly from Lauv’s instagram post made on October 5, 2019 (pre-album release): “‘~how i’m feeling~’ is about embracing personality and all it’s different aspects. the idea that we are not *one thing* and in fact we can be many different things on many different days. born out of a crisis of “who am i?”, i created 6 different characters: purple (existential lauv), blue (hopeless romantic lauv), green (goofy lauv), yellow (positive lauv), orange (fuckboy lauv), and red (spicy lauv ™)...” Each of these characters are represented in Lauv’s album. For example, the song “Who (ft. BTS)” seems to be sung by the purple, existential Lauv, because of the questioning nature of the song, as Lauv wonders “Who are you? 'Cause you're not the girl I fell in love with, baby...”. On the other hand, the song “Tattoos Together” seems to represent blue, hopeless romantic Lauv, as the song goes: “One weekend in Portland/You weren't even my girlfriend/Give me shapes and letters, if it's not forever/Then at least we'll have tattoos together…”. Each song on the album seems to correlate to a specific color and mood of Lauv, yet it seems to be up to the listener to determine which song is which color Lauv. This idea of different colors representing different parts of a person’s personality is interesting, and makes the album more emotionally faceted.
The album itself is quite lengthy, with 21 songs, each about three minutes long. Some of the songs feature notable artists, including: Anne-Marie, Alessia Cara, LANY, BTS, Troye Sivan, and Sofia Reyes. The whole album is perfect for playing in the car with friends, catchy enough to sing along to on your own, and carries enough emotional depth to help you deal with different stages of love. The album is a mixture of love songs, break-up ballads, and commentary on society. The love songs are fun and youthful, and paint a picture of an intense fling in which Lauv loved deeply, but the fling did not last. However, these love songs can be romantic and catchy no matter where you are in your relationship. The love songs on the album include my personal favorite “Canada (feat. Alessia Cara)”, a song which feels like the honeymoon phase.
The break-up ballads include “Believed”, an auto tuned number that mixes lyrics that sting with regret with a fast-paced tempo that would sound great on a night drive. Another of the break-up songs on the album is “Sweatpants”, in which Lauv asks the audience to not “judge him” for drinking his “coffee with a little bit of alcohol” post-break-up.
Last but certainly not least: a few of Lauv’s songs include strong social commentary. The biggest example of this is his song “Modern Loneliness”, a clear commentary on the depression and loneliness that comes with modern social media and technology.
All in all, I recommend Lauv’s album “~how i’m feeling~” for people who enjoy pop music, are looking for good songs to put on when they have the aux cord, and crave some emotional density in their music. If you plan to give it a listen, I recommend starting with “Invisible Things'', which will give you the gist of the mood and tempo of the album, so you can decide whether it’s your taste in music or not. Enjoy!