“There’s something very freeing about oversharing with millions of strangers”: LØLØ Reflects on Her Unapologetically Confessional Debut, ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ’s debut album ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ traces the processes of frustration, negotiation, and acceptance that is all too familiar in a breakup.
‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ – LØLØ

Drawing inspiration from her favourite childhood story The Wizard of Oz, LØLØ pieced conceptual truths together on her debut album; and it is truly – and solely – her.

From percussive rhythms, rock guitars and creative storytelling, spunky lyricism continues to characterise LØLØ and her artistry. With distinctive and quirky imagery in her writing, LØLØ delivers her stories with a carefree that maintains her relatability and authenticity in her debut record, falling for robots & wishing i was one (out June 7 via Hopeless Records).

falling for robots & wishing i was one - LØLØ
falling for robots & wishing i was one – LØLØ

Leading up to the highly anticipated release, the Toronto-born singer (née Lauren Mandel) has seen soaring success in the pop-punk scene already. Having toured with iconic bands like Boys Like Girls and Against The Current, LØLØ is only just getting started. falling for robots & wishing i was one showcases her best and more: sparse acoustic tracks accompany her familiar guitar-heavy sound, showcasing expansive vocals and heart-on-her-sleeve lyricism, enriching the electric dynamism that already exists in her artistry.

The tracklist juggles between feelings of acceptance, anger, frustration, sadness and love – much like the turbulent inner negotiations of a breakup. LØLØ steps outside this turbulence in tracks like “wish i was a robot” and “kill the girl,” but fully embraces the chaos in tracks like “u turn me on (but u give me depression)” and “hot girls in hell.” “thoughts from the shower” and “i would fix you if i could” intercept LØLØ’s inner workings, presenting moments of negotiation amidst the highs and lows. Refusing to shy away from truth, falling for robots & wishing i was one will resonate with audiences for its unapologetic ferocity.

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ © Steph Verschuren

LØLØ recently spoke to Atwood Magazine about songwriting and touring, discussing the thematic and conceptual threads that tie the album together.

The singer carried herself with a surety and openness as she described her songwriting processes, as well as her influences and inspirations. She discussed why she loves conceptual artistry, and why that was important in crafting her debut album. falling for robots & wishing i was one is certainly the accumulation of everything LØLØ so far, but it’s clear we’re only just at the beginning.

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:: stream/purchase falling for robots… here ::
:: connect with LØLØ here ::


falling for robots & wishing i was one - LØLØ

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Atwood Magazine: Congratulations on falling for robots & wishing i was one! How are you feeling as we get closer to the release, and how is it different from your past releases?

LØLØ: Yeah, I mean, it’s the first time I’ve gotten to tell a full story, I’ve gotten to include a lot more pieces of singer-songwriter songs. In the past, it’s been an EP of six songs and I’ll throw in one slower one, but those were always my favourite ones. It’s been nice to be able to include more of those and just show different sides of me. I’m really excited, but also very nervous. I have so much fun making the music, but when it comes to putting it out, it’s like you work so hard for so long, and then all of a sudden, it’s just out and it’s up to everybody else. So there’s definitely a lot of nerves but just as much excitement.

I loved the slower songs on the album! Tell me what led to the conception of the record, and what the creative process was like?

LØLØ: Well, the first song that I wrote on the album is actually the last song that’s on the album, which is ‘u & the tin man’. I wrote that a few years ago. And after I wrote it, I was like, oh, this is really cool. Like, it was a lot of cool imagery. And I just really liked the idea of it. I’ve always really loved The Wizard of Oz, it’s like my favourite movie since I was a kid.

After I wrote that, I was like, I don’t really want to put this out on my EPs. I wanted this to be part of something bigger because I really felt like it was a good song. So I just kept it in my back pocket. I wasn’t really writing for an album at the time, but then I wrote the other song, ‘wish i was a robot’. And then I was like, okay, this kind of goes with tin man. Like, it’s funny because in tin man, I’m talking about, like, f*** this robot guy. And then in this song, I’m like, oh, but I wish I was one because I’m so overly emotional and sensitive, and I wish I wasn’t like that. After I wrote that one, I felt like there was something here. They’re two sides of the coin: hating, then also wishing I could be that. So that’s when I started putting the album together. That was when I started writing songs to fit in all the gaps and collecting things, and came up with the album. That’s why I named it Falling For Robots and Wishing I Was One. I made sure every song on the album was either about falling for a robot or wishing I was one.

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ © Steph Verschuren

I wanted to talk about your songwriting a little bit as well. I think there's such a nice mix of empowering but also unapologetically vulnerable lyrics. What is your songwriting process like?

LØLØ: Yeah, so I always start with lyrics every single time. I’m very much a lyric person. I’ll usually think of a title or something, and I’ll write, I guess a poem, about it. I’ll put the music to it after. I guess like everyday life, whatever inspires me. I have a note on my phone where I write a bunch of titles or sometimes when I’m really feeling it I’d write more lyrics to it. It usually starts on my bed with an acoustic guitar and my lyrics. And sometimes it totally ends there. And I’m like, okay, the song is done. And sometimes I just write a verse or chorus, and then bring it in. For “hot girls in hell,” for example, I wrote the whole first first part and went into a songwriting session. I was like, I have this, but I wanted it to be angry so we made it really mad. But it still just really depends. But yeah, always starting with lyrics. I’m very much a lyric girl.

I love that. Do you find it really healing to be so candid in your music? Or is it quite scary?

LØLØ: Haha yeah, honestly, I used to find it so scary. Like the idea of even writing a song back in the day, I was like, I’ll just simply never do that. I wanted to be a singer, but I didn’t want to be a writer. I wanted to be more of a performer. I would have loved to be on Broadway back in the day. And when I started writing songs, I don’t know. I was so against sharing and then I turned into an oversharer. It really went from one extreme to the other haha! But yeah, it’s very therapeutic. And honestly, there’s something really strange about sharing your deepest, darkest secrets to strangers. I feel like a lot of people maybe think I’m over-exaggerating, which you know, of course, sometimes I’m very dramatic in my lyrics, so sometimes I really am. But there’s something very freeing about oversharing with millions of strangers that are gonna hear the song. I kind of had to just dive in deep. I thought, if we’re gonna do this, we’re going full out. So that’s how it got to be.

I wouldn’t say it’s oversharing at all! I found a lot of the songs really relatable which is a testament to how people just receive the music through the filter of their own experiences.

LØLØ: Yeah, that’s so true! In some of my songs I’m so specific about exactly what drink they were drinking, this and that. And even then I’ve had people be like, that verse is about my ex, do you know my ex-boyfriend? Like, it’s so funny. And I feel like I do that too when I listen to songs. I picture my own life when I hear the lyrics. So that does make it less intense to write these lyrics because people are interpreting it with their own story.

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ © Steph Verschuren

What would you say is the overall theme of the songs on this album?

LØLØ: I mean, well, I would say the two themes are falling for robots, and wishing I was one. So it would be falling for heartless people with no emotion that I just can’t crack, and then the other side of it being like, how do I keep doing this every time? How am I falling for the same kind of person? And then the other side of it being too sensitive or emotional, feeling like everything affects me so much. And just feeling like I love too deeply and it ends up biting me in the ass. So just the polarisation of those two things. I guess opposites attract which is why it keeps happening. But yeah, the album is those two things, the two extremes.

How has this project helped you to grow as an artist, musician, or songwriter?

LØLØ: I feel like every time I write something, or put something out, I grow a little more and learn a little more about myself. Especially on this album, I feel like I’ve definitely opened a more vulnerable side of myself with some of the more stripped back songs, and worked on my storytelling.

It’s funny because every time I write a song, I’m like, oh my god, I’m never gonna write a better song than that, and I kind of freak out. But then I end up writing a different song that is like not even necessarily better than the last, so you can’t even compare it. It’s like apples and oranges. So yeah, that’s always been a fear of mine that I’ll stop writing a song that I like. But then I end up writing another good song that’s just different. So I guess I’m always just growing and changing in that sense.

Were you quite specific about the tracklisting?

LØLØ: Oh my god yeah, I went over it a million times. I kept switching it around. I wanted to make sure that when I read the story down it made sense. So the intro goes straight into “omg,” and it’s funny because the intro was the last track I wrote for the album, and the first song I wrote for the album is the last on the tracklist. So the first song you hear as the listener is the last thing I wrote and the last thing you hear is the first thing I wrote… That’s actually pretty cool, I just realised that now haha! But yeah, I knew I wanted an intro that went right into the first song, like I wanted to to be almost like a prequel to the first song.

I love that symbolically as well, it’s kind of like introspection, or looking back from the starting point. What was it about “u & the tin man” that made you feel it was a closer?

LØLØ: I don’t even know, it was just a feeling. There’s some times I feel like I should’ve ended with ‘wish i was a robot’. Those were the two, which makes sense. One of them is in the middle and one is at the end.

I was doing like, ‘intro’ and ‘omg’ as the anxiety stage. Then ‘faceplant’ is when you’re like I’m dying, help. Falling in love is ‘2 of us’. Thinking he’s actually kind of f*ed is ‘gloria’ then explaining that ‘u turn me on (but u give me depression)’. It’s like those feelings of being in it but I also hate you. ‘wish i was a robot’ is like, I hate myself. And then frozen and held back in ‘thoughts from the shower’. That’s like an interlude of another anxiety thing. ‘poser’ is going back to the guy, and ‘snow in berlin’ is reminiscing. ‘kill the girl’ is like I still miss you, f** me. “i would fix you if i could” is realisation again and then ‘u and the tin man’ is reflection.

Okay amazing, so it’s like the seven stages!

LØLØ: Yeah literally, haha!

What would you say this album symbolises in the trajectory of your musicianship for you?

LØLØ: I mean, it’s my first album, which is a big deal. I guess it’s my first like, look at the world. It’s my first this is me as an artist, saying this is what I am, this is who I am.

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ © Steph Verschuren

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ © Steph Verschuren

Were you listening to many other artists while making this album?

LØLØ: boygenius was a major influence on a bunch of the songs on the album. I went to Coachella last year, and I watched boygenius. I was literally blown away. I don’t know how I missed the boygenius train, I hadn’t listened to the record front to back, and then I saw their set where they basically played the whole thing. I remember just standing there and it inspired so many different ideas. But my phone was dead! And normally I write down everything on my phone so I really wanted to remember all this stuff, and I remember I was drunk and I ate like a weed gummy. So my mind was just like in a million places. I was just repeating the ideas over and over again. Like that’s where I got the idea for the skinny jean lyric, and ‘2 of us’, and a bunch of the lyrics on “hot girls in hell.” I was just repeating it for the rest of the night at Coachella, I was just like “skinny jeans!” in my head over and over again.

Haha so this maybe is a tough question to ask, but what’s your favourite song on the album?

LØLØ: I think “hot girls in hell,” and “gloria.” Honestly, I feel like they are my faves. Oh, no, no, sorry. Also “i would fix you if i could.”

I think I just love being like, so hype and energetic and screaming all my anger. And I also love the vulnerable side. And I love how ‘hot girls in hell’ is both. It goes from sad to mad to sad to mad. And I think that really reflects how you feel after you lose someone or you go through a breakup. One second you’re sad and one second you’re angry. So I really love that one. I love performing it at concerts where people don’t necessarily know me and they think I’m gonna play a slow song. And then all of a sudden I’m like, “you’re f*ing disgusting!” and they’re like, oh shit. ‘gloria’ I just think is really cool because it was a new idea I never wrote about before. I’ve written so many breakup songs but the idea of ‘gloria’ was really unique and even the way I told the story is really different for me. So I liked that one because it’s just different from my other stuff. For ‘i would fix you if i could’ that one just really gets me, like in a good way. So those are my three favourites.

I also love the concept art for all the singles so far, and the album cover. Could you talk more about how you conceptualised that?

LØLØ: So I knew I wanted the cover to be me as a punked out Dorothy. I’ve known that for a while because ever since I wrote tin man I knew I wanted that to be the last track. Once I figured out all the songs on the album and wrote ‘wish i was a robot’ I thought it’d be safe if it was me trying to put a heart on the tin man but he’s actually a robot, yeah I’ve just always loved that Wizard of Oz story, the story behind it, the prequel. So I guess I just thought it would be really cool imagery for it.

In terms of the singles, I found one artist that I liked to do all the singles so that it would be cohesive. I don’t even remember how I found this girl, I think it was like on Instagram, and I just loved her stuff. She had never actually done anything like that before, she does commissions now. I just really loved her stuff, it felt like my personality in a way. So we kind of went back and forth, I’d tell her what the song is about and then I’d say, I think it could be something like this, but tell me what your ideas are.

Will there be more visuals and music videos coming?

LØLØ: Yeah! So I just did two days of visualisers for the rest of the album. They’re all kind of like music videos I guess, but they’re more simple things just because I was like, I only have this much money for everything. But yeah, there’ll be a visual for each song. And then “gloria” is gonna have a cute lyric video.

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ © Steph Verschuren

I can’t wait to see them! Okay so reflecting a bit on your career so far, you’ve toured with some really iconic artists. Can you tell us more about what that has been like for you?

LØLØ: Yeah, I’ve been really lucky in terms of tours and everything I’ve gotten. I’m super grateful for that. I thank New Found Glory for discovering me on a Spotify playlist, so thank Spotify also. But yeah they kind of took me on my first tour. It was a two month tour, I had no idea what the f*** I was doing. They really believed in me and taught me so much. And then from there, I’ve just gotten more opportunities and gone to tour with other people and just been riding the wave. And I haven’t gotten off yet. So that’s been great. It’s also just like growing up at the same time, being exposed to all this stuff, is also so inspiring. For my writing but also just in life. I’m just super grateful for all the opportunities. I feel like it’s really helped me grow as a person and as an artist. Hopefully the good opportunities keep coming!

I love that. So between recording and writing to playing live shows, they’re such different aspects of the music project. What would you say each brings to you?

LØLØ: So I think with writing, that’s the therapy part where I’m letting out my feelings and learning about myself. I’m putting everything together and putting everything in perspective. The touring part, although it’s so hard and mentally and physically exhausting, that’s like the reward. You do all this work, you write all these songs, and then you get to go out in front of people and see them sing it back to you. And that’s like the most rewarding thing of all time. Getting to meet the fans too, and they get to tell you like, “you wrote this song about my ex and it helped me get through this”. That’s like, the most rewarding thing. I love to tour, so even though it’s so exhausting, like I would literally do it every day, because it’s so fun.

There’s people that write on tour, which I don’t understand. Like, I don’t get how people are on tour and writing at the same time. Because when I’m on tour, I’m literally brain dead. I can only think about touring and it’s funny because people are like, oh, you just sing at night. But it’s a whole day of preparing in the venue and setting up what outfit I’m gonna wear. And then after I sing, I go meet the fans. I just don’t have the mental capacity for anything else. So whenever I’m touring, I’m never writing. I usually don’t even get songwriting ideas. I’m just like, not even in that zone. So when I get back I have to zone in on that.

LØLØ 'falling for robots & wishing i was one' © Steph Verschuren
LØLØ ‘falling for robots & wishing i was one’ © Steph Verschuren

To wrap up, what do you hope people will take away from the record?

LØLØ: I just hope they like it. I guess takeaways would just be that it’s okay if you’re falling for a robot or if you’re feeling like you’re too sensitive or emotional. I guess it’s just taking away that we’re all going through similar experiences and you’re not alone in whatever, because I’m feeling it too. And if I’m feeling it, your friend is probably feeling it too and so is your other friend. Life is filled with so many challenges from all different sides so you’re never alone.

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:: stream/purchase falling for robots… here ::
:: find more of Atwood‘s LØLØ coverage here ::
:: connect with LØLØ here ::

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falling for robots & wishing i was one - LØLØ

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