Lauv’s life changed drastically on August 30, 2019. We know this because he told us, tweeting, “my life drastically changed today,” as whatever event was unfolding before him.
“I’ve had a lot of big changes this past year,” he squints, as we asked him what occurred on that fateful day. “I really wanna be able to answer this question. I’m just trying to think what it was,” he says, searching the back of his brain for any clues. “I need to know. Now I’m obsessed with this.”
Searching his phone, scrolling until he finds the spark, and then it hits him. “August 30th was the day that me, one of my best friends, and my creative director had this amazing 3-hour meeting, where we just figured out the whole album concept,” he exclaims, eyes lit with excitement. “Everything just came together. The whole idea of all the different characters, and the colors, and everything we’re gonna do with it.”
“It was after this long period of time where I was feeling like, not creative, and I was like ‘I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where this is going,’ and then one day it all just clicked.”
How I’m Feeling will be the official debut for Lauv, built from real struggles and pulled from the pages of some of his darkest times. Rather than wait, he’s been dripping out sincere songs for the last few months, needing to get them out. “A lot of last year I was in a really bad place mentally, and I was supposed to be working on the album, but to be totally honest wasn’t productive,” he confesses. “I don’t want to wait until the entire album’s done to release everything, because now the album doesn’t come out in its entirety until March 6. But I’ve been kinda just releasing single by single to bookmark every stage that I’ve been going through over the past however many months.”
The songs that you’ve heard so far are all sprung from his own experience, grappling with anxiety and his own emotions before finding help.
Some of them are snapshots that transport him back to particular places and times, reliving those feeling all at once. Like “Sad Forever,” which he says takes him back to a time where he didn’t really understand what he was experiencing.
“All I knew was that I was super anxious, and I felt super low, and I felt super disconnected from everybody and everything in my life,” he remembers. “I was having a lot of obsessive thoughts, but I didn’t know how to recognize what that was.”
“That song will always remind me of that moment, right before I decided to actually go and see a psychiatrist and do all the stuff that actually ended up helping me a lot.”
Similar emotions follow “Drugs & The Internet,” which Lauv says came from a “weird, negative headspace,” or “f***, i’m lonely” which was born out of a real, honest conversation with his friends after tour. The latter includes Ann-Marie, who was a perfect fit even though the two didn’t meet until after they recorded the song. The personal perspective that Lauv has given prominence to in each of his releases is part of why so many people have gravitated to his music, but he’s also learned that everyone’s process is different.
Lauv entered the studio with Troye Sivan with no particular goal, but the two bounced off each other creatively to craft the introspective and hypnotic groove, “i’m so tired…”
“His process is different, which I think is really cool,” Lauv smiles. “One thing that he does that I think is really interesting is that he’ll just like flip through a book, or open something that has a bunch of words, and just find a word that’s interesting and then use that for inspiration,” he recalls. “For me, all my best songs, my most honest songs come when I’m just sitting at a piano or playing a beat or on my guitar, and I’m not thinking. It just kind of happens. I’m not really good at constructing or like looking at a word and then being like, ‘that’s gonna be a song.’ So I thought that was really interesting.”
You can hear much more from Lauv in the exclusive interview above. How I’m Feeling arrives everywhere on March 6.