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Debut project from Lauv explores identity and heartbreak

Written By Kayla Snyder, Co-Copy Desk Chief

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An upcoming singer-songwriter and producer dubbed Lauv used an unusual method of releasing music via the popular music streaming service Spotify.

Lauv (born Ari Leff), originally from San Francisco, fell in love with the art of songwriting at the age of 14. He went to study musical production at one of the most coveted universities, New York University (NYU).

In a video posted on his YouTube, Lauv explains his love for producing music and songwriting, which only heightened during his time at NYU.

With the pursuit to release music in a story form, Lauv took an untraditional approach of delivering music to his fans.

On Oct. 20 via his Twitter, Lauv announced his upcoming project called “I met you when I was 18,” released via a Spotify playlist.

In the explanation of the compilation, Lauv attached a note to the tweet saying, “This has all been part of the same story. A chapter of my life. Moving to New York City when I was 18 for school and not knowing who I was or who I wanted to be.”

The story starts out with his single “I Like Me Better,” which charted on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 at #39. The upbeat song is the ultimate love song, donning the title lyrics: “I like me better when I’m with you.” The honeymoon period is the topic of discussion in this track where everything is great in the world, and nothing can come between the new love.

“I Like Me Better” starts off the love story Lauv is trying to convey, then continues with the second track titled “Comfortable.” This song questions intentions within a relationship. After the honeymoon phase in “I Like Me Better”, Lauv sings about complications in “Comfortable.” This track reports the never-ending question of if something is what you really want, or if that’s just comfortable for someone.

“The Other,” which is the first track Lauv released as a musician, explains the battle of an ending relationship trying to use the head or the heart to make the tough decision; your heart wants something, but your head wants something else.

In his Genius.com annotation, Lauv explains specific lyrics in the songs as the different stages of relationships.

“When you’re at that point in a relationship, all you can do is obsess over where things went wrong,” Lauv said via Genius.com. “Picking apart memories, over and over. Staying up at night, analyzing. But really, the last thing you want to do is accept that things went wrong in the first place. You wish you could just wake up and everything would be okay.”

“Reforget” is the next track within the compilation and details the story of when things go completely awry in a relationship. Lauv’s powerful lyrics create an image of hurt, despair that is covered up by nights of partying and trying to forget the situation.

Following is a piano version of “The Story Never Ends,” which encompasses how it is easy to get caught up in something (such as a relationship) and keep making the same mistakes.

“Come Back Home” focuses highly on the story of missing something and wanting it back. The lyrics in the chorus (“I still love you but sometimes you have to go to trade your heart for bones, to know you need to come back home”) pierce the listener’s eyes as this soft, ballad continues to set the stage of a toxic relationship.

In a collaboration with Travis Mills, Lauv created the song “Question” to detail the stage of love where you’ll do absolutely anything for the person you’re in love with. The song dons lyrics such as “I won’t question, question it,” in response to the silly things that a partner may do, with no explanation.

“Easy Love” which was the latest single released before being added to the compilation spells out simply that Lauv isn’t looking for something easy when it comes to love, rather he wants the complications and he wants something that is worth fighting for.

“Adrenaline” details what Lauv is wanting from a relationship, for everything to go back to seemingly normal, but still feel that on-the-edge feeling when you’re in love. He wants the adrenaline back in his life with this girl whom he is still in love with, but the feelings may be unrequited since they broke up.

The final track within the compilation titled “Breathe” tells the story of realizing a relationship is over, but trying to cope with it. “You’re my all and more, all I know you taught me. You’re my all and more, but I need room to breathe.” This lyric represents the emotional turmoil when Lauv finally realizes the relationship which he has been longing to fix is over and he needs to move on.

The 10 song compilation tells the story of a “perfect” love story that gets ripped to shreds and follows the emotional time after the breakup. Within his Twitter explanation, Lauv explains that these songs have been written for a while, but he never found a way to release them because the puzzle isn’t finished. By using Spotify, Lauv is able to update the playlist whenever he sees fit. He teased fans that a new song would be added to the story Nov. 17.

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