While drugs heal the body, music heals the soul. There is no feeling better than being able to connect to music that sings your deepest, darkest pains and fears. Music that is relatable unknowingly acts as a pain killer.
Ari Staprans Leff, popularly known as Lauv, has made an attempt to connect to his listeners by sharing his pain and discomfort through the art of music. His songs are not only reassuring but also impart a feeling of belongingness.
Where mental health awareness has gained the limelight in the past few years, music has inevitably proven to be one of its finest mediums for several reasons.
Lauv is among the few artists who have successfully managed to use musical musings to heal while imparting a sense of congruity. Successfully dedicating an entire album, Lauv has been able to make a space of his own by openly speaking about mental health stigmas.
After he was diagnosed with clinical depression and OCD, Lauv started his ‘Blue Boy Foundation’ which aims at raising funds to create awareness while amplifying the message of positivity to kindle sparks of hope, faith and love.
How I’m Feeling‘s hallmark track, ‘Sad Forever’ traces Lauv’s journey and as he reported it was written at his lowest point.
“Cause lately, I’ve been in the backseat to my own life
Trying to take control, but I don’t know how to.”
‘Modern Loneliness‘ is another beautiful track from the same album that vocalizes the modern way of living, where one is left feeling lonely in a crowd of people, disseminating so much more meaning to the entire movement.
“And I’ve been trying to fill all of this empty
But f*** I am still so empty
And I could use some love.”
The feeling of falling in love with another, while still learning to love one’s own self is emphasized in his song ‘Julia’.
“My hesitation and holding my breath
I led you in to the garden of my loneliness
Wish that you left
Before it all burned down.”
Whereas in ‘Lonely Eyes’ he makes an attempt to impart a sense of belonging through his comforting lyrics.
“We might speak different languages
And we might have differences
But where you are, I’m right there too.”
Various other songs from Lauv have added so much meaning, providing impetus to mental health awareness while still reminding the sufferers that they aren’t alone.
“Strangers, killing my loneliness with strangers,
And when they leave I go back to our song, I hold on”
— i’m so tired…, I Met You When I Was 18
“I’ve seen your soul grow just like a rose
Made it through all of those thorns.”
— Breathe, I Met You When I Was 18
“Now we’re always second guessing
We think happy is expensive.”
— Invisible Things, How I’m Feeling
The music gains its clarity through lyrics and lyrics become meaningful when they are relatable. It is this relatable music that heals the soul and helps impart knowledge, further creating awareness. And Lauv has done just that!
“Although I, or anyone else, may seem fine at any given moment, mental illness is something that is oftentimes not apparent. It’s an ongoing journey with ups and downs and finding stability is the process that I am still heavily working on.”
Thank you Lauv, your music gives strength.
Hrituja Anand Amare is an English Literature Graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. You can find her on Instagram @hrituja_7601.
Featured image: Lauv performs “I LIke Me Better”.Photo: Reuters