Lauv Reconnects with Himself in Raw Sophomore Album 'All 4 Nothing' and Opens Up About Living with OCD

"My daily life is basically fighting to be the person that I want to be and that I know that I am," Lauv tells PEOPLE

Lauv released new album All for Nothing
Lauv. Photo: Lauren Dunn

Have you ever felt like you needed to reconnect with a past version of yourself? Well, Lauv is doing just that.

All 4 Nothing, out Friday, marks Lauv's second and most raw studio album yet. Speaking to PEOPLE about the album's inspiration, he said the concept evolved over time, before realizing he should write about "everything I was going through" and get "back in touch with my childhood self."

"It's about a boy or a person who felt very out of touch with himself and felt disconnected and anxious just trying to find that sense of self-love and confidence and childhood life again," the "I Like Me Better" singer, 27, tells PEOPLE.

He adds, "It was like the writing, it kind of helped push me forward to get back in touch with that part of myself because I just feel like I lost touch with it. Throughout my early 20s, I felt like life pulled me in so many directions and whether it's my career or just honestly being an anxious person, I felt like I got so pulled away from my center."

Lauv released new album All for Nothing
Lauv. Lauren Dunn

While this album is very personal to the singer, he hopes that when fans listen, they'll "connect in their own ways" and maybe even "find touch with parts of themselves they feel like they've lost or maybe forgotten about."

All 4 Nothing includes previously released songs "Kids Are Born Stars," "All 4 Nothing (I'm So in Love)" and "26." It also serves as a follow-up to his 2020 debut album ~how i'm feeling~.

And while each song on the 13-track record holds a special place in Lauv's heart, he says his favorite is "Bad Trip" because it's "just so different for me." In terms of emotional connection, his favorite is "Hey Ari," because it serves as a letter to himself (his real name is Ari Staprans Leff), and it's "a sobering moment checking in just being like, 'Hey, how are you really doing?' "

He started writing the album in 2021, and says he spent long hours in the studio to nail the record down to perfection. "I get very obsessive during the process because I love the idea that anything is possible and this album can be anything and who knows where it's going to be yet and let's find it. So I love it."

On the other hand, the "Never Not" singer has opened up about living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and says that while he can appreciate it's what makes him such a hard worker — it's a slippery slope to overdoing it.

Lauv released new album All for Nothing
Lauv. Lauren Dunn

"OCD has made me such a hard worker — the perfectionism and stuff like that — in the past. But it also is the same thing that keeps me in the studio obsessing over something that's never going to be right anyways, that I already know somewhere deep down is not right for hours and hours and hours," he says. "And I'm just losing touch with everything else — it's so easy to get obsessed."

Although, he's recently developed new habits that he feels work for him since he's "always battling it."

"[Something] I have been doing for a long time, but I just feel like I keep getting deeper and deeper into it is meditation, it's a huge thing for me. I've definitely connected a lot more to the spiritual side of things as opposed to only just — I think before it was like I was learning how to go deeper in therapy and learning more about the medication I was prescribed and stuff like that. But now I've been way more open to some more spiritual stuff."

He jokingly adds, "I don't know if part of that comes with living in LA and there's so much of that stuff going on. The energy healer, the reiki, I've done spirit guide, all of it, tarot reading ... I get tarot readings on my for you page on TikTok!"

All jokes aside, he says, "I just feel like my daily life is basically fighting to be the person that I want to be and that I know that I am, but also fighting with all of my patterns that get in the way."

Ahead of the album's release, Lauv shared a sequence of Instagram posts, detailing each song's meaning with a short description to connect with his fans.

On Aug. 11, Lauv will kick off his All 4 Nothing tour with Hayley Kiyoko in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Meanwhile, he says he can't wait to be "doing shows every night" and to "fall in love with the songs in a different way."

All 4 Nothing is out now.

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