Lauv - 'Without You' Review

"Chronicling the realities of Gen Z relationships, ‘Without You’ is Lauv doing what Lauv does best: melting every one of our hearts."

'Without You' artwork.

It wasn’t enough for Lauv to release a mammoth, 21-track debut album in March: one which has seen him heralded as one of the most impressive pop lyricists of our generation. Only three months on from ~how i’m feeling~, the California native is back with the ‘Without You’ EP. King of weaving heart-wrenching tales of the rollercoaster that is love, Lauv once again doesn’t falter. Chronicling the realities of Gen Z relationships, ‘Without You’ is Lauv doing what Lauv does best: melting every one of our hearts.

Born out of quarantine (at least somebody has used this time productively), the EP offers out its finest track first and foremost. ‘Dishes’ envelopes you in Lauv’s tale of loneliness and loss post-breakup. Though lyrically it is intensely melancholic and tinted with nostalgia, its laidback, dream-pop beats give it the power to worm itself into your brain with ease.

From this point onwards, the EP hurtles at increasing speeds towards dejection: every track rips your heart out a little bit more. ‘Mine (You Can’t Find Love in Mollywood)’ details a raw insight into the insecurities and uncertainty that a toxic relationship can birth. Against a stripped-back backdrop, the track allows the 25-year-old’s easy falsetto to take centre stage.

A similarly subdued approach leads into ‘Miss Me’, as Lauv navigates the impossibilities of letting go of someone. Whilst previously, the artist has showcased both the highs and lows of love, ‘Without You’ seems to dwell in the desolate. Pop, as a genre, has taken a more despondent turn: there’s no avoiding the fact that as a generation, we are quite angsty, and pop has come to reflect that. Lauv pioneers this.

The pinnacle of this sombre mood comes in the form of the final track, ‘Love Somebody’. Lauv looks back remorsefully at his past mistakes, anguished at what went wrong. It’s heartfelt and bristling with enough undiluted emotion to unhinge even the most unshakeably loved up of us. An honest painting of heartache, Lauv shines when he is as intimate as he is on ‘Without You’. Relatable and refreshing, the EP is a deep dive into this pain, one that ironically, will have you falling harder in love with Lauv’s music.

Words by Neive McCarthy.

26th June 2020.

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