Photo: press

LØLØ

When Lauren Mandel, better known as LØLØ, moved from Toronto to Los Angeles, she found herself struggling to assimilate. She began falling for people who weren’t as sensitive as her, never liked her back, led her on, etc. That’s the origin story for her debut album, falling for robots and wishing i was one.

Written over the last two years, the highly anticipated record, arriving June 7th via Hopeless Records, came at a time LØLØ realized she didn’t need to be dwelling on her experiences. Instead, she finds laying them bare, inviting fans into the depths of her heart, to be the best type of therapy. She’s fresh off the plane following a writing session in Nashville when we speak. To be exact, she’s just got in and is chilling at her parent’s house. She’s comfortably sat on her bed, which seems fitting considering the topics of the record, ready to fill EUPHORIA. in on how she’s taking her effortlessly cool attitude and sharp lyricism to the next level. It’s almost as if we’re about to have a girly heart-to-heart and it’s one you get to be a fly on the wall for!

Photo: press

When did you start working on your debut album? Was it something you planned on or was it something that came naturally to you over time?

I didn’t necessarily know that I was writing for the album when I began working on this project. I’ve just been writing forever. The first song I wrote that made it to the album was written in May 2021 and that’s when I thought it was part of something bigger. I didn’t want to put it out on an EP and have it get lost which led to the idea of writing for an album. It’s funny because “u & the tin man” was the first song I wrote but it’s the last one on the album. It was also one of the first songs that found me writing by myself again and going back to my roots which was cool because when I started doing music, that’s what I was doing. When I moved to LA, I was doing sessions with so many amazing writers and collaborating with so many different people, which I love, but I loved going back to writing by myself after such a long time and everything else came from there.

So working on this record has been a long process for you! How did you manage to find/keep a balance with it all alongside touring and everything else?

I’m honestly not sure! I think writing it over the last few years helped with that because as I said before, I wasn’t really writing with making an album in mind. I was just writing because I’m a fan of music and it’s what I know best. I think, when it got to a point where I knew I couldn’t keep putting out EPs, I went back and listened to what I had been working on and evaluated why I hadn’t released them yet; it all came down to the fact they felt like songs for an album. Once I had picked the ones that felt like pillars of the album, it was easy to slot the rest into the gaps and to have them all tell a story. I love when you can listen to an album from beginning to end and there’s a story within it because that’s how I grew up listening to music. I’m sure you feel the same way, being a creative and working for magazines, but listening to something all the way through hits different and that’s something I wanted to achieve with my debut.

With this being your debut, how excited are you? It’s kind of the musical equivalent of having your first child!

I am terrified. It’s so easy to get lost in the journey of it all and wonder what the fuck you’re even doing and that’s how I feel leading up to this release. I’ve been pitting out EPs forever and wanted to do an album for so long and now that it’s here, my anxiety is through the roof. I’m hoping it does well. Even if it doesn’t, I still think it’s really good. Despite all the anxiety, I am very excited for everyone to hear it.

At the start of our chat, you mentioned writing by yourself for the first time in ages on this record. That aside, was there anyone that helped you in other aspects whether that simply be with ideas, themes, producing, artwork, etc?

I don’t know how to produce for shit so I had Mike Robinson help me out there. He produced all the tracks except one. Everything started with me and my guitar and then I would take the rest of my ideas to him and he would take it from there. He’s super talented and we just kept going back and forth together until each song felt just right. I also co-wrote some songs with my friend Marissa Maino. She’s one of my best friends and it was really nice working with her because, in the past, I’ve always collaborated with men. It was really comfortable working with both of them and being able to throw ideas around but for the majority of the record, it was all me.

That’s quite a small team. What did a day in the studio look like for you guys? What was your approach to creating and making music from writing it to recording and making the final decisions?

Everything, and I mean everything, always starts with a guitar on my bed. Then we’ll re-write and edit until we can’t re-write and edit anymore. I don’t really know how to explain when it’s done, I guess it just feels like we can’t do anything else. You know, when there are no stones left to turn and nothing left to be said. I have to give credit to Mike though because he is a musical genius. He’s impacted the album so much sonically and with him, we let what we determine a finished track sit for a day before making the final call. If we come back in the next day and have things we want to tweak, we know it wasn’t right when we thought it was. 

Would you say that writing the majority of this record yourself helped you express yourself a little more?

Oh for sure! I never used to be this open because, believe it or not, once upon a time I was so shy and scared of people. I always worried what they would think of me and to be honest, I didn’t want to let many people in. Writing seemed therapeutic and when I started treating it like that, that’s when I began oversharing. I became a chronic oversharer because I got addicted to how it felt when I would write. I was addicted to the tiniest details about things and then I began relaying that in my lyrics and people would start telling me how similar things have happened to them and that every line hits. I liked getting that feedback. I liked the thought that people were possibly looking to my music and feeling okay about their experiences because I may have made them feel less alone. The chronic oversharing may not have been good at times – the people I’ve written about definitely don’t love it – but what can you say? It’s kind of my job and I’ll always stay true to myself. If you’re being an ass, I’m going to write a song about you being an ass!

Is that something you find important when writing now then? Being as true to yourself as you can.

For me, if I’m not writing something personal, whether it be in-depth or only lightly, it’s hard to like the song. If I don’t like it, I don’t feel anything for it and why would I sing something I don’t feel anything for? Even if I’m singing about something embarrassing that I may regret writing about later on, I still feel the need to be honest otherwise I won’t be able to care about what I’m doing as an artist. I also feel like if I’m not being honest, the songs come out boring and who wants that?

I feel like your fanbase appreciates your honesty too because it kind of lets them in in a way. I’ve seen people online always referring to you as their best friend for the songs you write and how you interact with them.

My fans shock me all the time. I’m so appreciative of them. I never want to let them down because it’s really cool what they do for me. It can be stressful at times though because, in a way, it feels like they’re depending on me. I feel the need to always be active on social media and to make sure I book tours for them. So many things are out of my control in those senses though and at the end of the day, all I can be is me. It’s just cool and shocking that I get to do that with a fanbase. I feel like I have the best fans and, I know everyone probably thinks and says that but, I truly mean it! I talk to them daily and at this point, they’re my friends. I know that memes are going around about how your favorite artist is not your friend and that they don’t give a shit about you but I do. I do give a shit about my fans and they are my friends. I think I’ve trauma-dumped on them more than they’ve done it to me. I’m always chatting to them after shows and sharing life things with them to not consider them as such.

Photo: press

Going back to discussing your album, what kind of emotions and experiences influenced this project?

The album’s called falling for robots and wishing i was one and it’s literally about falling for a robot or wishing I was one. When I was listening back to each song, I couldn’t get over the fact it all revolved around me falling for a guy who didn’t really have any personality. They literally had no emotions and I always found myself wondering how he lived like that. When I wasn’t thinking of that, I realized I’m overly sensitive and how much that sucks. You know, being an oversensitive girl in a mean world and trying to navigate that, it sucks! I always found myself wishing I was like that guy, wishing I could live a life of not giving a fuck and have absolutely no cares in the world. I would probably have way less problems if I could live like that. That’s when I realized the songs I picked, because they told a story, all tell one of how emotions fluctuate throughout your life as you navigate growing up in a world that isn’t always the nicest.

You also recently released your new song “poser”. Talk to us about that!

I wrote a bunch of songs after I went to Coachella and saw boygenius’ set because I was literally blown away by them. My jaw was dropped the entire time and something about their set was so inspiring to me that it made me think about lyrics differently. It didn’t help that my phone had died and I had all these ideas in my head so I literally spent the rest of my time at Coachella walking around, saying those ideas over and over again so I wouldn’t forget them by the time I managed to grab a charger. ‘poser’ was one of those ideas that I luckily remembered and it departmentalizes my angry side. I sometimes stalk myself on Reddit, as one does, and there are all these older men moaning about how I’m a poser and that I’m not pop-punk when I never claimed to be. When I last looked, they were saying how I don’t know certain bands that I’ve spoken about or how I need to shut up and I just took all of that anger and put it into ‘poser’. I thought it was a cool word so I took it and related it to my own experiences with love. I basically gave the word poser my own meaning and changed the way people were using it as an insult towards me.

Obviously “poser” is a taste of what’s to come on the record but what else can people expect to hear? Are we going to get more of your trademarked vulnerable lyricism with grungy guitars or are there some stripped-back moments?

I think people will be surprised by how many stripped-back moments there are to be honest. There’s a lot and I’ve never been this encouraged to put out singer-songwriter acoustic tracks before. I feel like people expect me to put out pop-punk bangers even though I wouldn’t say my music is pop-punk and now, with this album, I have so many different songs to tell a story and people might be taken back by the difference. I made the decision to include more stripped-back moments because they’re my favorite to write. Every song starts out that way and when I end up meeting with producers, they end up being flipped into a banger. I’m not against that otherwise I wouldn’t have released half of what I have and it helps with the fact I love to jump up and down during live performances but yeah, people can expect to see a bit of a different side to me with this album.

I feel like “*snow in berlin*” may have prepared people for more stripped-back moments too.

Oh my god, yes! You see, that’s funny because “*snow in berlin*” was meant to be an interlude on the album. That’s why it’s got asterisks in the song title. It was only at the very last minute we made the change because my label thought it would make a great Christmas song even though it’s not a Christmas song. But listen, I’ll gladly put a song out in December if they believe in it enough to put money into it. You’re right though, that will definitely prepare people for more stripped-back moments because that’s the most stripped-back song on the album. 

Is there a song on there that you’re most excited for people to hear or one that you feel sums up the project the best?

I have two answers for this! I’m really excited for people to year “u & the tin man,” which will be out soon when I announce the album, because it’s just a cool song. My second one has to be “gloria” which isn’t going to be a single. It’s very different to what I normally put out and I’m excited for people to see that side of me.

Now, looking to the future, what can we await from you for the rest of this year other than the new album in June? In the fall you toured with some great bands across the UK and North America on two separate occasions, did that get you thinking about any headliner shows of your own?

Other than the album, which crosses off one of my biggest goals so having that do well and having it connect with people would be nice, I’m hoping to work on more music and do a lot more touring. They would be the main things to tell my fans to look forward to. Touring last year was amazing, especially in the UK and Europe because the fans over there always show up and go crazy. It’s a massive difference compared to the US because, they’re both fun but, the UK just brings it up to a level I’ve not experienced before. Those shows definitely got me thinking about a headline tour and we are planning things as we speak. I don’t think I’m supposed to say when but I will tell you it’s definitely going to be this year. I’ve got a few shows lined up with jxdn [Jaden Hossler] too! I’ll be supporting him on a few of his American dates in July so everyone better get ready for a hot tour summer.