By Emily Vescio
Trying to be objective on a song I’ve been anticipating for months and have now had on repeat for 12 hours is going to be one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had to face, but I’m going to try my best. The track in question is “Mean It” off Lauv’s album “~in my feelings~” featuring LANY. The second this song was announced earlier in the week, this collaboration send the fans of both artists into a flustered tornado of excitement, but nobody was ready for what was to come.
Lauv has released a fair share of successful tracks that have made it to the radio. Collaborating with BTS, Troye Sivan, Anne-Marie and Julia Michaels, Lauv has quickly been weaselling his way into the eye-line of many powerful fan bases and becoming a household name.
The first and only other artist LANY had collaborated with to date was Julia Michaels for the track “okay”, and let’s just say it wasn’t a crowd favourite. The writing was a bit lacklustre and not what LANY fans have come to love and expect from the band. It was never really acknowledged by the band after the music video dropped, and was never performed live. It was good. But not a LANY track.
Pre-release, critiques were presented by fans about Lauv and the lead singer of LANY, Paul Klein, sounding too similar to work well together on a track, as well as links back to an interview in which Klein said LANY would not be releasing any more collabs following “okay” as it wasn’t the direction that felt right for the band moving forward.
The release of “Mean It” brings us to today. A new standard set for both artists when it comes to collaborating. Not to spoil the ending, but I only have good things to say.
Being a huge supporter of both LANY and Lauv, “Mean It” was a song I couldn’t have been more invested in. My whole evening was spent on the floor of my lounge room counting down to the release and downloading endless VPNs and probably infesting my nice new laptop with viruses in an attempt to set my Spotify account to a New Zealand time zone to be among the first in the world to hear the song. Absolutely worth it.
Reviewing tracks is one of the hardest things to try to do in a unique way, especially when the review skews positive. Without flitting between cliches, it becomes a challenge to accurately present a song to an audience.
Trying to fault “Mean It” to make this more interesting is something I’ve been internally battling with all day. I can’t do it. This song is just that pure feel-good music with mild sad undertones that you can see yourself yelling and dancing with your friends in a kitchen to at 3am. I know I’m trying to avoid cliches but sometimes feeling like you’re in a 90s teen montage is the best thing in the world.
“Mean It” is the mature answer to LANY and Lauv’s unlucky-in-love tracks, reminiscent of their whirlwind romances. This track represents the shift in their agreed approach to this new era of love songs. It sounds like falling in love, but responsibly. They’ve learnt to protect their hearts.
The blend of Lauv and Paul’s voices is so smooth and effortless. The distinction between them is present without being a stark and jolting difference. The writing, like most individual Lauv and LANY tracks is elevated, strong and structured. Catchy hooks and bridges create the perfect package that leave you with this emotional release when the track comes to a close and you let out the breath you forgot you were holding.
I can’t recommend you giving this song a listen enough – maybe 12 hours on repeat is a bit intense but at least one listen through will have you sold.