JVKE’s new album will make you want to fall in love again

If you’ve ever wondered what being on cloud nine and then falling right back to the ground with no parachute feels like, to then learning how to walk again, wait no longer, for 21-year old pop artist JVKE has turned this free fall into literal music to our ears.

JVKE’s new album, “this is what ____ feels like (Vol. 1-4),” is meant to be listened to in a specific order. It moves through the journey of falling in love, facing heartbreak and ultimately finding healing.

He starts on cloud nine with “this is what falling in love feels like” and “moon and back.” The songs portray the sweetness of late night sunset drives on rainy days along with the feeling of excitement of locking eyes across the room. It’s that honeymoon stage where life feels just right. 

Then “golden hour” comes like a steady morning where birds are chirping, when months have gone by but love remains. 

JVKE also introduces the five stages of grief –– and just like real life, those stages are not linear; one may encounter denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance all at once, several times a day. So as listeners join this messy journey, they may encounter all stages of grief in a single song. This goes beyond the words of the songs themselves, but the instrumentation, vocals, nature sounds and beat drops all contribute to what each song seeks to communicate. 

This is part of the beauty of JVKE’s work; his songs hold unique meanings to the ears of his audience, just like beauty is found in the eyes of the beholder. 

JVKE starts with denial and anger in “this is what heartbreak feels like.” It’s that initial shock of losing one’s ground and having one’s reality turned upside down. Hearts are shattered. 

“Ghost town” sets the scene for learning how to live again with the remnants and the imprints of your past lover all over your skin, learning how to think again while memories are still stamped on both sides of your brain. It moves into accepting that things are different and discomfort is unavoidable. 

We step into the depression stage of grief through “this is what sadness feels like.” The song portrays sadness as that sensation of constantly having a knot in your stomach, like your heart is carrying a heavy weight and your mind is always blurry. It’s like sadness makes its dwelling by your bedside and holds your hand as a faithful companion. Bargaining is also a part of the picture in “wonder if she loves me.”

But JVKE doesn’t leave the in-between messy stages between heartbreak and healing behind; “save your breath” portrays that reality beautifully. This one sounds like a foggy day which blurs one’s view as they’re walking on a path that used to be so familiar yet stumbles along the way for everything feels distant and unreal. The ending of this song followed by the next is almost undetectable, and the transition from it to the next stage is as realistic as in a real-life experience. There’s no closure, no pause… 

And then healing comes.

“This is what falling out of love feels like.” It sounds like freedom, like indifference to what used to make one’s heart sting; it sounds like being able to breathe again without that constant knot in one’s stomach.

And then nostalgia says hi along the way –– “catch me” is that fresh reminder on a mundane day when a scent, a place or a sound brings back all the memories that were once buried. It doesn’t open a healed wound back again, but it raises that intrigue generated by the question “what if?” Or more commonly, it comes with wondering how that once special one is doing now. It’s like a momentaneous hug that comes and goes without prior notice.

The cycle goes on. “I can’t help it” comes unexpectedly like a sunny day in the middle of a gloomy snowy winter –– like that first flower blooming after the ice has melted or the color green emerging above the ground. It’s like the sound of birds chirping again reminding us that life is on its way. It sounds like a crush. 

Every song has its own plot twist taking unexpected turns with pauses and drops that make your heart skip a beat. 

That’s the genius of JVKE’s album; there’s no beginning nor end. Rather, it works as a loop representing all the intertwined emotions and feelings one has when experiencing the utmost reminder of what being a human truly means; to love and to lose and to hurt –– and to love again. So it never ends.

Every song has its own plot twist taking unexpected turns with pauses and drops that make your heart skip a beat. 

If this isn’t enough to make you stop for a few minutes to go through this path that JVKE paved for his listeners –– then maybe you need to fall in and out of love again, because only then will this album make sense.