On their collaborative single ‘I’m So Tired’, both Lauv and Troye Sivan are exhausted by the romanticism of love songs - feelings which they’ve both explored in their own solo music, but together give a new take on love and loss in the super catchy song.
Since dropping the song on Valentine’s Day (can you feel the irony?), it’s gone on to receive over 229 million streams on Spotify alone, with the pair performing it on Jimmy Kimmel Live a few months back too.
We caught up with Lauv and Troye Sivan to discuss their new single, their friendship, and their respective upcoming visits to New Zealand…
...people need to be able to look at the brain just like any other organ in your body, meaning that sometimes it’s not that simple. I know this sounds stupid, but you can’t just tell your liver to work correctly, right? So sometimes you need outside help to get your brain going right. If that means medication or therapy - whatever that might mean. So I think it’s really important.
COUP DE MAIN: Firstly, an important question: Are your dogs Billy and Nash friends yet?
LAUV & TROYE SIVAN: <laugh>
TROYE: They haven’t met yet!
LAUV - ARI LEFF: They haven’t met - Billy has to get one more shot.
CDM: And then they’ll be best friends right?
LAUV: Yeah, exactly.
TROYE: Nash loves small dogs! He’s gonna be amazing when they do meet.
LAUV: I’m so excited.
TROYE: <laughs> They’ll definitely be on our Instagram.
CDM: What were your first impressions of each other?
LAUV: I thought Troye was super nice. To be totally honest, I was actually a little nervous when I met Troye for the first time. We just met right outside a rehearsal studio - I think he was rehearsing for TV and I was rehearsing for my tour - but he was super nice.
TROYE: And mine, same complete thing. I was really excited to meet Ari because I feel like he’s just such a good songwriter, and a performer, and everything. I heard him rehearsing ‘I Like Me Better’ in a hall of the rehearsal space, and then we bumped into each other outside. It was just a really good time.
CDM: In the stripped live version of 'i'm so tired...', you perform the song with the bridge, which we love! Why did you end up deciding to release the song without the bridge in it?
LAUV: <laughs> Oh man.
CDM: It’s so good! Why did you take it out?
LAUV: I feel like I’m just going to have to take the blame here, I was the one who really pushed for no bridge. We had so many versions of the song and it was just really long, and I felt like the energy kind of-- maybe there’s a way where it could have worked, but there was just this feeling inside to get rid of the bridge. But it’s so funny to see how it’s become such a thing, and such a part of the conversation.
TROYE: I mean, I still love the bridge, and I think everyone loves it, but then when you listen to the song 150 times like we both have at this point, I think it was the right decision to take it out. But now it’s such a big thing that hopefully one day when we sing it live together or something like that, we can make it a thing. I dunno. We’ll come up with some sort of cool way to make sure it has a bit of a life.
CDM: The line, “Cause I'm ready to love you or ready to lose you,” is a really powerful line in that bridge. Do you think that to truly be open for love, you have to be open to the idea that heartbreak or hard emotions will also come with it?
LAUV: Hell yeah, absolutely. I think that real love doesn’t come without absolute vulnerability, it’s actually like the best friend part. If you want your lover to be your best friend, you have to be able to say anything and to be totally open about every good, bad, awkward thing - every part of yourself. If things don’t work out sometimes that can hurt, obviously.
CDM: As humans do you think that we can be ready for love and loss? Or is it something that we’re always learning about?
TROYE: I think we’re forever learning and growing. I think it’s never not scary when you find someone that you want to give your all to, and this song is kind of about when that all goes wrong, you know what I mean? So it’s a scary thing, but I think everyone should be open to it forever if you can, because with that vulnerability comes the best feeling in the world.
CDM: I love the lines in the second verse when you reference the Coldplay and Lorde songs - and you’ve explained how it kinda refers to when you put on songs that remind you of someone whom you’ve broken up with. It’s always so interesting that songs can trigger such distinctive memories, and the idea of people kinda torturing themselves by listening to certain songs is certainly relatable. Is that something you guys are guilty of?
CDM: Why do you think we love to do this to ourselves?!
LAUV: I think part of it feels good - some people can be sort of psychologically trained to have sadness in the comfort zone, you know? Like, you’re used to being sad and you’re used to being in pain, and that becomes your safe place and you don’t even recognise it as bad for you because it just feels like home. The same way that a toxic relationship can feel like home. So I think there’s something nice and inducing in sadness when you know it’s a comfortable place.
CDM: It’s been cool to see all the conversation recently that it’s okay to be sad, that it’s not so much of a stigmatised thing anymore.
TROYE: For sure. I also think that sadness is often the only way to really work through something - to kind of let yourself feel it. So often that can help - you gotta let yourself go through the emotions and experience that to get to the other side.
CDM: Do you think that for you as musicians and artists, the relationship between songs and memories is even more powerful? Or something that you’re even more aware of?
LAUV: I wonder. I think everybody has that associative ability with music, and I think maybe the reason that I am in this is because I was obsessed with that concept - being able to create something that people would be able to associate with something and their life.
CDM: I love the concept of “un-missing” someone in that verse too. Do you think that time is the only thing that does cure heartbreak?
LAUV: Yes. <laughs> I think so, I think it’s the only true thing to really make you get over somebody.
CDM: Do you think that your concepts and ideas around what love is has changed a lot since you were younger, and since you’ve experienced more through growing up?
LAUV: 100%. For me, 100% because I find each time I’ve fallen in love its sort of taught me something different about myself, and what my concept of love has been - they’re all really valuable, and I think everybody’s journey is really different. For some people, the first time they fall in love, that will end up being the thing for the rest of their life. For me, that wasn't me - I needed to go through some more before I found what I really needed, if that makes sense.
CDM: Love is such a complex emotion that when you write songs about it it’s reflected in lots of different ways. Why do you think it’s easier to be sick of happy love songs than more complicated love songs which are probably more relatable for some people?
LAUV: That’s honestly such a good question. I don’t know. There’s so many different types of love that I think unfortunately a lot of people are in love in a relationship that maybe isn’t that simple and I think that’s kind of the human condition - that things aren’t always that simple. So I think it’s sort of rare to be in love and it be all happy. And I think there’s a lot more, especially in early relationships, it's a lot more like you fall in love with somebody - for me, I’ll be totally honest with you, I fell in love with somebody who was the first person I’d ever been with, whom I lost my virginity to - and that’s a really powerful attachment, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that person is the best person for you for the rest of your life. But it’s still love, so I think there’s a lot of songs that kind of describe that absolute attachment and that absolute vulnerability, but that aren’t necessarily just all happiness.
CDM: In the same way that romantic comedies are looked down upon as a genre of romantic movies, bops about love are not considered to be as intellectual as love songs from other genres - but it could be argued that some of The Beatles’ love songs are just as simplistic as what you hear on the radio today. Do you think that’s an unfair judgement against pop music?
LAUV: I think so, a little bit.
TROYE: Me too. I’ve heard an interview with a pop songwriter and she was like, 'You have to kind of get as many people as you possibly can to feel something and on top of it you’re kind of given this puzzle to solve in that you have to do it in a pretty strict structure.' Like, in order to get a song on the radio for example, or if you’re trying to reach as many people as you possibly can, the song has to be anywhere between 2:30 and 3:30 and you’ve got to get to the chorus as quickly as you can, but you’ve still gotta get all of that heart and all of those real emotions into it - it sort of feels like a puzzle piece. It’s still coming from the exact same place, but you have to solve it in this really neat, satisfying way that’s going to get people to feel something. So it’s tough, and I get why people would think that it would kind of be easy, but if it was easy, I think a lot more people would do it, and I think I would be more successful than I am - you know what I mean? So it definitely is a challenge and I think once you kind of give it a go and you realise that, your respect kind of soars for people who make it seem easy.
CDM: I totally agree. Have you guys written any other songs together that will come out in the future?
TROYE: Have we written other songs together? Yes. Will they be coming in the future? No!
LAUV: <laughs> Who knows, maybe we’ll make some more!
CDM: When you have your playdates with Billy and Nash, you can write some more songs then.
LAUV: Exactly. I already wrote a song about Billy and it’ll probably be on my album.
CDM: Ari, you’re coming back to New Zealand this November! Are you excited to be returning?
LAUV: So excited! It’s so beautiful! I can’t wait to explore, I can’t wait to drink coffee, I can’t wait to eat the food, I can’t wait to meet everybody. It’s gonna be sick.
CDM: And for your upcoming New Zealand and Australian tour you’re donating a dollar from each ticket sale to local mental health organisations. Was that something you felt was important to do?
LAUV: Absolutely. I struggled a lot myself and it’s something that’s been in my family through a couple of generations. Mental health is such a vast issue - when you say ‘mental health’, it’s like ‘what do you mean?’, but it’s something that is luckily being de-stigmatised every day at least in the US, but I think in a lot of places there’s still so much work that needs to be done. I think people need to be able to look at the brain just like any other organ in your body, meaning that sometimes it’s not that simple. I know this sounds stupid, but you can’t just tell your liver to work correctly, right? So sometimes you need outside help to get your brain going right. If that means medication or therapy - whatever that might mean. So I think it’s really important.
CDM: Troye, you haven’t been back to New Zealand since 2016 to play a show, so when can we expect you to come back and visit us?
TROYE: Jeez louise, I know it sucks! Soon! I mean, Australia and New Zealand will be the next places to be announced, and I’ve been talking about this for a long time. I have the dates in my e-mail and everything like that, but we’re just making sure we can get all the venues we want and all that stuff. We're figuring out the logistics, but it’s happening. I feel like everyone probably loves that part of the world, but for me it is home and it feels like the greatest place in the world, so any excuse to head to that region I am so, so, so down for it, and excited and just want to get the longest tour that I possibly can. Or at least extend it, so that I get to have a holiday or something.
CDM: And lastly, I know you guys have been doing a lot of promo together where everyone else asks you questions, but do you have any questions you’d like to ask each other?
LAUV: Ooohhh, Troye you go first - what do you wanna ask me?
TROYE: Ummm <laughs> what do I wanna ask you? Also, just so you know, we just got off FaceTime-ing between two of these interviews!
LAUV: We literally just caught up about life!
TROYE: The questions I wanted to ask I just had answered, like, ‘What are you doing tonight?’ So maybe, do you wanna write together again soon?
LAUV: Ooohhh! Absolutely, I'm always down. Literally any time. Let’s do it. What are you having for dinner?
TROYE: What am I having for dinner? I don’t know! My boyfriend’s mum is making us dinner and she’s an amazing cook so it’ll probably be something amazing, but I don’t know what yet.
Lauv and Troye Sivan’s single ‘I’m So Tired’ is out now - click here to purchase, and watch the music video below…
Lauv plays Auckland's Shed 10 on November 20th - click here for more info.