Lapsley on Anxiety, Online Dating, and Singing About Her Exes
Låpsley’s album Long Way Home came out today and will change your life immediately. It'll also break your heart in half, even if you’ve never actually experienced heartbreak. That’s because she has—and she wrote a whole record about it. The 19-year-old singer is surprisingly unashamed about wearing her heart on her sleeve (in fact, when we hung out, she was literally wearing a top covered in hearts—black ones, but still).
From start to finish, the 12-song tracklist will make you feel feelings you've never experienced. "Seven Months," in particular, will turn you into an emo teen (even if you are neither emo nor a teen). The final tune on the album is named for the exact length of her last relationship. Which, as Låpsley explains, was far more complicated than a three-minute ballad. Here, she tells us what it's like to sing about her exes—and not in a Taylor Swift kind of way.
The issue with writing songs that are so close to you is that throughout the year, you have to face them constantly. If your friend had recently broken up with someone, you wouldn’t mention the ex-boyfriend to your friend, because she’d get upset. I wrote a lot of the songs while I was still in a relationship, so they aren’t good or bad about the person, they’re just truthful.
I had to have a meeting with him and say, “I’ve written an album about you. And there’s going to be interviews in, like, Rolling Stone.” Maybe for dramatic effect I’ve said things, but that’s because I’m a girl and from my point of view, it is quite dramatic, but it’s a truthful account. It’s not positive or negative. Honest.
My boyfriend had such bad OCD. It was like dealing with someone with autism. The reason we split up was because I couldn’t cope. The whole album is about the inevitability of the end of a relationship, but not because anyone’s cheating. He couldn’t cope with himself, and I couldn’t cope with the relationship.
I’ve suffered from anxiety—my mom has it—my whole life. I get migraines because I’m overthinking. I don’t want to f*** up. I’ve got this obsession. This battle between wanting to not give a shit and massively giving a shit. It’s like, "Ahhh...I don’t know where I stand." Everyone has these friends who are so cool, because they don’t give a shit. And you admire them and want to be them.
Some people think I’m that person and it’s like, all I think about every day is if I look fat and if I’ve got a spot on my chin and everyone can see or if the guy I’m texting, I maybe haven’t left the right amount of time before I text him back. Or I’ve gone on a Tinder date and I’m like, “Oh does he just want to shag me?”
Now I’ve got the issue of people speaking to me just because of who I am. But we’re all humans. And we’re all on Tinder. [Editor's note: She actually prefers Bumble, and she’s also on Raya, the famous person-only Tinder, on which she spotted the dude who played McLovin’.]
It’s hard on tour. I miss my friends. On New Year’s Eve, I had a massive cocktail party and I was surrounded by my friends and I just burst out crying. I won’t see them for eight months, and it was just hitting me. I’m going to be alone—I’m going to be with people, but they’re not my friends. But I want to test myself. I want to find out about myself on this tour.