LAUV defines heartbreak, mental health on new album

As promised by the album’s title, LAUV’s “~how i’m feeling~” gives us a diary of emotion as Ari Leff sings about his coming to fame, the love and breakup with artist Julia Michaels and the overarching concept of loneliness due to heartbreak. 

This hour-long album is jam-packed with 21 songs, all with their own music video. The videos tie in the concept of having fictional interpretations of different emotional states in Leff’s head that watch and control his actions. These interpretations are different parts of his personality that Leff finds easiest to understand by distinguishing them separately. 

In his head, there are six colorful archetypes: The blue romantic, the purple pessimist, the green goofball, the yellow optimist, the orange f–kboi and the red spitfire–all of which are portrayed by Leff in the music videos for the album. 

This creative interpretation embodies different struggles Leff deals with, including his OCD and anxiety. These personalities show how Leff has a hard time validating himself and has to compartmentalize his emotions in order to make sense of it all. 

As mentioned before, Michaels is referenced heavily throughout the album–including a song titled “Julia.” The listener gets the feeling that Leff is aware of what he did wrong in their relationship, and also of all the flaws within it. 

While he does write about his mistakes and the toxicity that was brought out in both of them, he admits to still loving and missing her. While he writes in length about her, there are no heavy details about how it ended, leaving the listener to assume a mutual respect of privacy between Leff and the listener. 

During his song “i’m so tired” which features Troye Sivan, he writes about being at a party trying to move on. “Party, trying my best to meet somebody/But everybody around me is falling in love to our song,” Leff sings.

This line, and “i’m so tired” in its whole, brings up the idea of having songs that relate to a specific person being tainted over time. All of a sudden, the same song now holds different memories and elicits different emotions.

Michaels has obviously left a huge imprint on Leff’s life and this album is evidence of that–not just in the lyrics he writes, but also his vocals. For instance, when listening to “Mean It,” his high notes at the end of some verses along with his language are similar to the inflections Michaels is known for in all her work. 

Overall, this album has an interesting way of interpreting loneliness and talking about mistakes in relationships. Giving this album a listen and watching the correlating videos could help others deal with things within themselves. The overall goal of this album is clear: Leff wants everyone to feel less alone.