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Lauv longs for the happiness of childhood on 'All 4 Nothing'

Ari Leff a.k.a. Lauv
Lauren Dunn
Ari Leff
Ari Leff a.k.a. Lauv

There's been an interesting trend in pop music recently: an honesty about struggling with mental health.

The rapper Logic had a hit with a song titled after the Suicide Hotline number. There's a hit on the charts right now called "Numb Little Bug" — some of it goes "Do you ever get a little bit tired of life/ Like you're not really happy but you don't wanna die?" There are loads of other examples.

Well, one of the artists at the forefront of normalizing mental health issues in this way is Ari Leff, better known as Lauv.

Ari Leff a.k.a. Lauv
Lauren Dunn / Ari Leff
Ari Leff
Ari Leff a.k.a. Lauv

In 2017, he scored a major hit, "I Like Me Better," and it launched him to instant stardom.

His new album dropped on Friday; it's called All 4 Nothing.

On the album, Lauv often writes about the happiness and confidence of his younger days ... something he hadn't been feeling at the time.

"I was extremely anxious; I felt really disconnected from myself," he told NPR's A Martinez. "My life had changed so rapidly over the past few years, largely due to my career and moving out to LA. I felt like I had lost touch with myself a bit and was so caught up in this dream that I had of being a big musician that I kind of forgot who I was deep down. And so this album was really kind of like rediscovering my true self again, which is really nice."

Lauv says his interest in talking openly about his mental health issues is a product of the times we live in.

"I think that a lot of people are feeling that sense of hopelessness and are just overall more open about mental health. It's awesome that there's just so much more transparency now. To be able to express these things and to be able to acknowledge that sometimes, yeah, we have feelings that are very, very, very extreme - that doesn't necessarily mean that that's actually the reality I want to live. I just need to express it in this moment, and then other people can feel that too and relate to it."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ziad Buchh
Ziad Buchh is a producer for NPR's Morning Edition and Up First. In addition to producing and directing the broadcast, he has also contributed to the show's sports, tech and video game coverage. He's produced and reported from all over the country, including a Trump rally, and from the temporary home of Ukrainian refugees.
A Martinez