Ari Leff -known professionally as Lauv- is a multi-platinum singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from San Francisco, California. With force, he broke into the pop scene in 2015 with his hit, "The Other." Skip forward to 2018, with the release of his smash single, "I Like Me Better," Lauv gathered his singles up to that point to release his mixtape, I met you when I was 18 (The Playlist) (2018), which became an instant sensation among his listeners. Weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic put an emphatic choke hold on the world, Lauv released his massively triumphant debut album, ~how i'm feeling~ (2020). Now, Lauv is back with his sophomore album, All 4 Nothing, out August 5th via Virgin Music. All 4 Nothing features Lauv's most immersive and tantalizing body of work and doubles as his most personal creation to date. The album is doused in moments of nostalgia, conflict, and self-empowerment.
Lauv's forthcoming album, All 4 Nothing, takes you down a voyage through his mind, body, and spirit. As he navigates the treacherous terrains of his life chasing his biggest dream, feeling a deep void within himself instead of accomplishment, and the expedition he took to find his inner light and true self once again. "The overall story is me being in my mid to late 20s realizing I had this big dream in my life I chased, reached a certain level, but I felt really empty on the inside," Lauv unveils. As Lauv takes you down the journey of the positives and negatives of discovering himself again, sonically, the thirteen tracks on All 4 Nothing feature his signature sound while still feeling fresh by bringing in a few outside producers for this particular project to help bring in some renewed perspectives and while still allowing him to be in control his creativity and expression the way he feels appropriate. "One of the things that let me grow on this record that made it different is I used to be very much a control freak. I had to be at the computer producing everything for the most part as I'm working on a song," Lauv shares. "I took a more zoomed-out approach, where I was focused mostly on the songwriting, the singing, and writing the songs on the microphone. So I had a few different friends of mine that I really trust as producers that brought in some new sounds and new vibes for me. Especially on some of the songs like 'Bad Trip' and 'I (Don't) Have A Problem,' those two are very different for me. There are no Lauv songs that sound like that," he continues. With every release from Lauv, he invariably sets up the music with a visual theme. Whether it is well-known to the listener or something he keeps to himself. However, for All 4 Nothing, he envisions the album to have quite a nature-y feeling to the music. He visualizes the perfect scene for the record as a mixture of assorted outdoor locations. "It would be a perfect combo between beach and forest and pasture and mountains," he conveys. "I see this scene in my head with grass and mountains in the background, but somehow there's the beach there too." With a few of his previous releases, the songs were juxtaposed in different colours that accompanied each in various ways. With his forthcoming release, he stripped that back quite a lot. When questioned what colour he would pick for All 4 Nothing, he landed on a significantly particular choice of brown. "This project is a lot more natural, somewhat more nature-y feeling, some more muted. I feel like it would be every colour combined into one, but wouldn't that just be poop brown?" He questions back. "I would go with poop brown though. That's the colour," he jokes with laughter.
As mentioned earlier, his brand new album is his most personal yet, and he opens himself up more than he ever has before. One of the most challenging aspects of this project for Lauv was getting to this unfiltered, raw, and emotional place and just the scariness of conjuring up the most direct lyrics he could at the moment of writing and the wonder if it was too personal. "Not that I ever filtered myself before really, but I felt like I didn't really, really, really filter myself. So on some of the songs, some of the stuff I was going through and talking about, it's just very straight up. So it's all there for people to see. Not in a way that's being polished for a pop record," Lauv divulges. As that was the most challenging part of the record for him, it doubles as the most gratifying part for Lauv. He explains, "Once it's all out, I feel like, here we are, there's nothing left to hide." Over the years, Lauv has always been very open with his own journey in dealing with his own mental health troubles and has never frayed away from articulating about it further in his music. Lauv has always had an awareness of mental health issues affecting people around him in his family and friends, but when it came down to experiencing it firsthand, he began to fully grasp the realization of the grip it can have on any given individual. "For most of my life up until the last few years, I felt I didn't have an understanding really, but it wasn't until I had my own big, huge, massive shitty low, where I was finally like, 'Okay, I'm not able to just keep going to this therapist and get by.' Maybe there's more that needs to happen," Lauv openly discloses. Since he found help for his own struggles, he has gained a new comprehension as a whole and continues to break the stigma of talking about mental health and even the stigma of taking pills to fix these types of illnesses. Lauv continues, "I was so resistant to the idea of going to a psychiatrist. I felt there was such a stigma in taking pills to fix your brain. I got to a point where I was open to that, and I saw how that started to help me." Beginning late next week, Lauv will hit the road on The All 4 Nothing Tour. The fastly approaching North American tour runs from August 11 through September 20, with special guest Hayley Kiyoko, and features a lineup of alternating opening acts that include Aiden Bissett, David Kushner, and Payday -all set to perform on select dates. Lauv is eager to hit the road again with two records yet to be performed live in front of a live crowd. "I'm most excited because it's been so long since I've toured, and I pretty much have two new albums to play live, which is going to be crazy. As my last one [~how i'm feeling~] came out right before everything shut down, so I'm just overall super, super gassed," Lauv joyfully shares. "I'm definitely looking forward to playing the song 'Bad Trip.' And then the next thing I'm excited about is when I announce more tour dates," Lauv laughs, teasing us all. As we await the impending date of more tour dates, for more information and tickets for the North American tour, you can go here. Be sure to pre-save or preorder a physical copy of All 4 Nothing here.