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“I Met You When I Was 18”, Lauv’s Journey In Discovering Life, Love And Identity

23 year old singer, songwriter and producer Lauv released his brand new album titled “I Met You When I Was 18”, it’s a collection songs that were all written by the singer during his time as a student at New York University. It’s a story about making a move to New York City, falling in love for the first time, and about figuring out your own identity whilst being deeply intertwined with someone else’s. In an interview he recently did on the album Lauv stated “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. Falling in love for the first time and being in a 4 year relationship that taught me everything about myself, the world, and how to love. Discovering and defining who I really was and struggling to have the confidence to truly be that person. Learning to trust myself, even when it was the scariest thing in the world. I did the only thing I knew how to do and turn my feelings into songs and share them, but the songs have been out of order. I didn’t realize it then, and the truth is I’m still figuring it out, but there’s a thread and all I know is I want to share it with you guys the same way I’m piecing it together myself. So starting today, I’ve put all of these songs in order as a playlist. It’s called, “I met you when I was 18.” The puzzle is incomplete, and I’m going to be releasing A LOT of new music that fills in the gaps until this chapter of my life is fully told. I’ve never been so excited and scared to share myself fully with the world, and the truth is you guys have inspired and empowered me to get to this point. So, thank you. I love you more than you could ever know.”

Born Ari Leff on August 8th, 1994, as a child he was always interested in music and took piano and viola lessons before learning how to play the guitar at age 11. At age 14 before he had any sort of relationship he was obsessed with writing love and breakup songs. In high school he studied Jazz music before moving into his new found passion of electronic pop music. He graduated from New York University majoring in Musical Technology. He spent a lot of his time in the music industry writing and producing for other artists with the production team the Cheat Codes, before he made the decision to go solo and embark on his own musical journey.

Ever since he released his song “The Other” back in 2015, Lauv has released a number of songs from the albums playlist. “I Like Me Better” was the song that caught the worlds attention, entering the Billboards Hot 100, and has been certified six times platinum globally. It proved to be a strong hit in parts of Europe and in the Oceanic regions. In Australia the track peaked at number 8 on the ARIA singles charts, and exceeded 210,000 sales and streams. It peaked at number 13 on the New Zealand singles charts and obtained platinum certification. It’s success reached Austria and Germany, where it peaked at numbers five and seven, and ranked at the 42nd best selling song on the official German charts in 2017, amassing over 200,000 copies there. It was certified gold in the US selling over half million copies, and dominating radio air play for over a year.

Lauv released his music in form of a playlist instead of a traditional album, it’s symbolic of how his music has been consumed since releasing his debut single “The Other”. That song alone has amassed over 100 million streams on Spotify. This is more then just an album, it’s a well crafted journal that not only showcases his incredible vocal talents but also his amazing songwriting ability. His skilled manipulations of electronic pop music is extremely unique and powerful, and also catchy which certifies the majority of the songs on the playlist radio potential hits. “Paris In The Rain” is very smooth, chilled and relaxed, a song to set up any romantic moment you may be having. You can certainly hear his jazz influences in the production of this track, and he matches it vocally with his suave vocals and ripe falsetto.

“Comfortable” is a cross between jazz and urban influenced with contemporary vibes. Probably one of his stronger vocal performances with a more modern R&B sound as apposed to the electro-pop were used to hearing from his productions. “Paranoid” quickly switches back the playlist to his pop instrumentals, with a darker palette of synths, but still maintaining his incredible falsetto. He sings about paranoia experienced during love, something we have all experienced at some point in our lives. “Reforget” is a sleeker modern electro-pop song as Lauv sings about struggling with the memories of his ex. Next is the beautifully crafted piano ballad “The Story Never Ends”, a lyrical emotional roller coaster as he sings relatable lines like “Wound me like a toy spinning too fast in every direction.” Lauv has often stated he’s a hopeless romantic, but his songs reflect very deep feelings and it is the perfect album to listen to when you’re feeling down. In this song he sings about his ex fails that failed to take any responsibility for the end of the relationship. Ultimately, she blames him for everything.

“Enemies” drives the record back onto track with it’s high energy pulsing pop tempo. I love the catchy hook of this song, another number surrounding the relationship between exes. Lauv states on the chorus, “I know it hurts ‘cause I feel it too / But after all, all that we been through / Ooh why do we / We have to be enemies, enemies?” It would probably have to be my second favorite song on the album, it’s definitely something I can heavily relate to. Another favorite of mine has to be “Bracelet”, with evident smooth pop production work, Lauv delivers easy going vocals, surrounding a song that revolves around not letting go as he lingers on the moments of a past love with memories he derives from her bracelet.

This playlist is a collection of songs that clearly reflected his deepest thoughts and feelings. I have a lot of respect for him as a songwriter as this album is so personal, yet so many people can relate to this feeling of love and heartbreak. “I Met You When I Was 18” is Lauv’s introduction to the world as an incredible singer, songwriter and more importantly an incredible artist and I’m excited to see what the future hold for him.

Rating: 5/5

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