Man Crush Monday: Lauv

“To not know who I am but still know that I’m good long as you’re here with me,” Lauv AKA Ari Straprans Leff sings on his hit track. With over 198,000,000 streams on Spotify, “I Like Me Better” is just the beginning.

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It feels like he came out of nowhere. All of a sudden we’re hearing the doo doo’s and slow beat of “Better” and you can’t help but listen to it over and over. His dreamy falsetto makes you say “damn… who is this guy?”

This 23-year-old goes by the name Lauv; Latvian for “lion” and an homage to his mom’s Eastern European roots. Born in San Francisco, music became a huge part of his life from a young age. He played piano, viola, and then mastered guitar; where his songwriting came into play. Lauv recently told Wonderland Magazine, “Honestly, part of me feels like I have this life goal of writing the saddest, most beautiful song possible!”

Recently featured on DJ Snake’s “A Different Way”, Lauv masters the art of keeping an electronic-based song still feel radio ready with romantic pop hues from his unforgettably poised voice. The song touches on how to pick up the pieces of a broken relationship; “I will come running when you call my name, even a broken heart can beat again.” A fun eclectic beat comes in right after the chorus, heightening the power of the track.

Songs like “The Other” and “The Story Never Ends” show his emotional side. Both make you want to sob under the covers and never come out. Lauv’s voice is addicting to listen to; smooth and strong. Each track feels like another story you can relate to on some level. But, his latest present to fans is the snappy “Easy Love”. A hip-hop beat guides this one to be one of my favorite Lauv singles to date.

It seems like the singer/songwriter isn’t slowing down anytime soon; more music is already on the horizon. When asked about new music, he told Wonderland, “All I can tell you is there is way more aspects of my personality and my artistry that is shown through it. And I’m really excited.”




Who You Need: The Action!


The Action!
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WHO: The Action!

WHERE: Syracuse, NY

GENRE: Rock/Alternative



The Action!’s new album titled 5 is what I wish I had when I was in high school. A fun angst-y colorful collection of songs that make you say both, “get lost” and “wait, come back, I like you.”

With five band members, each one adds another color to the palette. No wonder they work so well together; the group will celebrate their 20th band anniversary next year. Tracks like, “I’m Gonna Beat Up Your Boyfriend,” “Never Been to Boston,” and “Too Scared to Dance” remind you to stomp your feet and have fun. Not only do guitar and drums lead these songs, but the horn section brings this band to a whole new level of musical nostalgia. They come off edgy with a simple speck of vintage medley’s; something not all bands can accomplish. “Styles and genres switch from song to song on this album and I think that keeps things interesting. You never know what’s coming next” the band’s ringleader Mike Gibson says.

Every lyric is fun and honest; imagery spills into your mind with every verse. “She’s cooler than Joey Ramone…hotter than Memphis in June,” lead singer Mike Gibson sings on “Let Her Heart Break.” While the song, “Amy” becomes one of the slowest one off the album, but sends a heartfelt message of love and friendship; “what can I do for you Amy? how can I help you get through?” Written for Amy Helm (singer/songwriter and daughter of Levon Helm from The Band). Gibson said, “Her father’s music meant a lot to me and when he died I wanted to write him a tribute but not something that sounded cliché. So I thought about his daughter – I may’ve lost a hero, but she lost her dad – and wrote this for her…” he continues to say, “Yes she’s heard it, yes she loves it, yes she recognizes me and hugs me when I go to her shows.”

5 should be in everyone’s car, so you can blast it on the highway, curse out your ex, or just be happy about life. Either way, The Action! will get you moving, whether you like it or not.



Kehlani Strips Down On “Honey”

Earlier this year, Kehlani dropped one of the best R&B/pop albums to see the light of day. Unapologetically titled Sweet Sexy Savage, this songstress held NOTHING back, and that’s what made the album so beautiful.

She’s back again, sprinkling a little more honesty in a stripped down acoustic track, titled “Honey.” Kehlani worships women openly and sings, “I like my girls just like I like my honey, sweet, a little selfish.” Her voice stays pretty and honest – as usual. “Honey” is simple, yet says so much. A modern day love song all about women loving women.

The California native said on her Instagram, “A huge thx to everyone listening to Honey, 7-8 months since I dropped anything and I’m happy ya’ll still here ready to jam at any moment. More comin where date came frommmmm.”




Best Merch

Njomza: Minimalist comfy vibes with a hint of modern slang mirror Njomza’s lyrics and sound (Check out her lead single “Sad For You”). Cropped hoodies, comfy sweats, and basic hats all under $35. GIMME!


Blackbear: The Bear is always on top of what’s trendy. Distressed, oversized tees, small logos, etc. Most are basic colors while some items come in the custom Blackbear orange we all know and love.

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Ariana Grande: Mixing street graffiti with classic color blocking. Each piece feels curated from the pop Queen herself. Sweatshirts, tees, bracelets, medical masks. Yes, you heard me right.


Harry Styles: Romantic nostalgia and feminine florals are sprinkled on every article of clothing. Not only does Harry spread happiness with his music but also a positive message on his merch that says, “Treat People With Kindness”.

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Halsey: The official merch for the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour isn’t released yet, but it is absolutely going to be dope. Renaissance themes and bright lively colors are already flooding her HFK tour. Right now there’s a cute royal t-shirt and a gorgeous gold choker that reads “Hopeless”.