Album Review: Lauv – ~how i’m feeling~

Lauv is notorious for his honest songwriting, lush pop melodies and being an all-rounder charming guy when it comes to his music. With the release of his debut album, ~how i’m feeling~, you’ll find that this 21-song album isn’t just about Lauv’s battles with his mental health; it’s an expression of art that compiles the complexities of human emotion altogether.

We’ve all been in that position before where we feel like we aren’t enough, or involve ourselves in relationships that do not serve us personally. There may be instances where we have internal battles that are related to our own beliefs and values. Lauv has channeled these themes into his songs. While his prior work had a strong focus on the challenges of love and relationships, he is more in-tune with the art of self-expression in ~how i’m feeling~.

Having some great track collaborations with notable bands and musicians like Troye Sivan, Anne-Marie and LANY, the radio trifecta of songs (“fuck, i’m lonely”, “i’m so tired…’ and”Mean It”), it’s best to recognise Lauv’s work in tracks without any features present – and you’ll find that he has evolved as a musician when it comes to his songwriting.

“Believed” is a catchy number and describes the breakdown of a relationship. The chorus has an uplifting pop beat and compliments so well with what the track has to offer. Lauv is candid in this and reveals that he should’ve had more faith in both him and his ex-partner to make things right.

“Invisible Things” is sentimental and highlights Lauv’s polished pop production, adding some creative flair into the mix. There is a sense of nostalgia that comes with the track and Lauv looks to the appreciation of being a child again and recognising the beauty of “invisible things”, which to him means holding onto someone who means the world to you.

One of the surprises he pulls from the record is the number, “Julia” – a song specific to his former partner, Julia Michaels (who also collaborated with him in the track, “There’s No Way”). Their relationship as musicians grew into a blissful romance in 2018 but sadly ended in a breakup. In this song, he is apologetic and sincere.

The piano adds a gentle touch and illuminates his wisdom and growth experienced since the ending of their relationship. Being incredibly open with how he truly feels, this track highlights Lauv’s ability to write songs that are personal to him in a way that it becomes an open diary entry of his life.

~how i’m feeling~ is Lauv’s journey of personal growth and healing. This album not only shows his natural talent of creating radio-worthy tracks but it also reveals some of his deepest (and darkest) emotions. Lauv writes songs that are fueled by his courage of being vulnerably honest, and for that, he has earned the respect of listeners that truly resonate with his songs.

Rating: ★★★★

~how i’m feeling~ is out now through Artists Without A Label (AWAL)

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