These last two weeks feel like everyone has decided to start releasing music again. I'm definitely not complaining. One of the songs we've gotten in the lasts week is "Love Like That" which is a song written for How I'm Feeling that didn't make the cut. When talking about the song on Instagram, Lauv said that he couldn't remember why exactly the song didn't make it, but with the album already running long with 21 songs, I can see why hard choices had to be made. A lot of the time, bonus tracks or later releases from an album always feel slightly off from whatever the tight album offering was, but sonically and thematically, "Love Like That" is a seamless fit on How I'm Feeling. I'm still amazed at Lauv's ability to make such a giant album cohesive.
The song actually appears on a different album on Lauv's music profile. It's called How I'm Feeling (the extras) with eleven bonus tracks. From remixes to stripped versions to acoustic tracks and live versions, there's tons of different imaginings of your favorite songs from the album. I listen to the "Modern Loneliness (acoustic)" a lot, and I think the proceeds from that track go to charity.
Back to "Love Like That", the sound is on the more acoustic end of all the tracks on How I'm Feeling. There isn't that beat that drops into a lot of the songs on the album after the first verse. It's really built around light, floaty, high vocals and a quick finger plucking of the guitar. There is a very sparse, hollow drum beat that gets introduced, but it's gentle and organic sounding. Originally, I wasn't sure how much I liked the really high vocals in the verses, but they've grown on me over the last few days. They fit the vulnerability of the lyrics nicely. The whole production has an air of fragility to it led by that vocal performance.
I like the melody and instrumentation a lot. The drum clap has a campfire vibe to it, and there's a comforting warmth in the guitar. The swing back and forth in the melody of the chorus has a soothing nature that almost feels like a lullaby. While it's expressed very differently, the melody reminded me of a lot of Louis Tomlinson's songs on Walls. I think this song dropped at the perfect time because those hug-like vibes are similar to what I've been searching for in music lately. I just want songs that make me feel like everything will be okay.
If I had to put this song on the album, I'd put it before or after "Julia" because they have similar themes. The major difference is that "Love Like That" has a more upbeat delivery. "Love Like That" probably missed the cut because it is so thematically similar, but it's a little less impactful because it's not directly addressed at someone, and it's presentation makes it easy to miss the weight of the lyrics. It's cool to get to see the same idea processed into two totally different songs because you usually only get to see the top song that an artist wrote on that specific theme.
Getting into the lyrics, the first verse sets up the premise perfectly and in a totally heartbreaking way. "You say I spend too much time/In my head and it haunts me back/I think you spend too much time/ Giving me second chances that I don't deserve/And it hurts". Calling back to "Julia", there's references to him dragging her into "the garden of my loneliness" that feels very similar to the seeming depression reference of "I spend too much time/In my head and it haunts me back". It's the second half of the verse that I like best, though. I love the level of awareness that's always in Lauv's music, but particularly here. He's acknowledging that he's totally at fault and that it's hard to watch someone go through a lot to give you chances you probably don't deserve. I also like the idea of exploring how someone doing what seems like a nice thing can make life so much harder.
The whole song chronicles the heartbreaking reality of the right relationship at the wrong time. The verses build the heartbreaking picture of the specific moments where he realizes that she loves him in a deep way that he just can't access at that time. They're all very specific images that perfectly encapsulate the feeling. Then the chorus spells it out for you and shows that big realization that he's not right enough with himself to give anything to another person. I don't feel like we acknowledge enough, in society, how important it is that you're in a good mental health space and feel secure with yourself before you get into a relationship. If you're not in that place, you can't be available for someone else in the way you should. It's brave that he can recognize and admit that on the level he does in the chorus.
I love how the chorus celebrates being truly loved while also recognizing that it's not a state that comes naturally. For as sad as the song is, it also feels like a triumphant celebration of this other person. There's such a sense of admiration in the chorus for how much that person can love and how beautiful it is. It's really sweet.
"You give me kind of love that I never had
Wish that I could love, love, love you back
Wish that I could love, love, love you back
Wish that I could love like that"
The chorus does bring back Lauv's signature repetition, but it works well here. It makes you wonder about our capacity for love and how it's tied to our past experiences with it.
"You give me your unconditional
Don't mean to sound so typical
But I wish that I could love, love, love you back
Wish that I could love like that
Wish that I could love like you"
I like the cute rhyming wordplay at the top and the really honest desire to love on that same level. It's both sweet and heartbreaking.
The second verse cements that same feeling because it's a sliver of a moment where he's realizing the reality of the chorus. It's definitely the saddest moment of the song and such a quiet, reflective look into his situation.
"That weekend, we were sleeping in that London hotel room
Heard you singing in the shower
Damn near broke my heart in two
I don't deserve you
And it hurts to"Throughout the song, my favorite parts of the lyrics go back to that idea of love hurting and not because it's bad or wrong or either of you are a bad person. It's hard to not be able to give what you get. And it's hard to end something when the other person is trying so hard for you. Overall, whether you want to wonder about the complexities brought to light by the lyrics or just sway to the comforting melody, "Love Like That" delivers in every way.
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