’26’ by Lauv is a glittering soundscape with a powerful story

Lauv is one of this generation’s most compelling songwriting and production talents. He’s back with an expansive new single, 26.

Lauv rakes in streams by the literal billion, but if he’s conforming to any kind of pop formula, you wouldn’t know it. His songs are intricate, expressive, and crammed full of ear candy, but with confessional narratives at their core. 26 is a bold addition to his songbook.

It’s the first single to appear on what will be Lauv’s second full-length record (which is set to land later this year). And if 26 is just a taste of things to come, we’ve got every reason to be excited.


The style of Lauv is anything but predictable and 26 is a microcosm of his oeuvre. For example, take the opening gambit of 26: a waterfall of impossibly warped guitar notes, which eventually forms the harmonic bed of the track.

Amid the rumbling chaos, however, Lauv’s vocal shines. “Can I tell you a story about a boy who broke his own heart?” he asks, guiding you into the bittersweet tale of 26 — one that revolves around the futile hope of reclaiming an innocence that’s long gone.

But the musical counterweight to this expression of regret is equally compelling. His sense of melody and lyrical flow is the thread that keeps you attached to the story of 26, while the evolution of the groove keeps your head nodding.

A half-time beat slams into the second verse, complete with a grinding synth bass line. It all leads to a euphoric crescendo to close out the track: what began as an introspective ballad, ends up being a boppy anthem that’s as perfect for the club as it is for your headphones.

26 is out now via Virgin Music Australia. Stream it here and check out the stunning official video below: