Love You Later, otherwise known as Lexi Aviles, brings pop music away from the stage and into the bedroom. The California native makes the kind of music you don't necessarily want to fist pump in a big crowd to, but rather have a mini dance party to in an intimate space with your closest girlfriends, or of course, have a quick crying sesh with them. Upon a closer listen, you may be able to get some California vibes as well. "From noticing every little detail in the air, to the peaceful sounds of waves crashing and wind blowing, to the "not-so-peaceful" sounds of cars honking on the freeway - Southern California is where Love You Later was born so those LA dreamy vibes and personal experiences will always be engraved in me and in the sound of Love You Later," Aviles assures.
Well, I guess just like California, my own romantic relationships have been peaceful… and not so peaceful, which is probably why I've related to her songs so much. Luckily, during the not so peaceful times, I have been able to press play on almost any Love You Later song and have slowly been able to mend my broken heart.
Aviles may be young, but the 20-year-old knows a thing or two about love and heartbreak. In fact, "love" is right there in her stage name. "I knew I wanted to have my artist name be something that flowed off the tongue, something people could remember, and something having to do with love and feelings or lack thereof," the singer explains. "Most of the songs I was writing for the project were surrounding those emotions. So I thought of Love You Later and stuck with it."
Well, I'm glad she stuck with it, because now the only thing I'm stuck with are her songs in my head (which I am certainly not complaining about). They helped me recover from heartbreak after all! Here is my personal list of essential Love You Later tracks that helped me do the seemingly impossible, and will probably help you too!
1. "Said That You'd Be There"
This is the dream-pop singer's latest single and probably my favorite one. "I had a dumb crush on a boy that told me he was coming to my show and I really got my hopes up because, well, it seemed pretty promising to me. He didn't end up coming and I was really bummed," the singer explains the story behind the song. Of course, my ex too let me down and failed to show up a number of times, so naturally this song is one of the most relatable ones for me. And if you're wondering what my initial response to this song's lyrics was, it was simply "same, same, same."
2. "Jokes on You"
This song is probably the most empowering. If you too have found yourself in a similar predicament (aka your ex trying to crawl back into your life), then I highly suggest giving this one a listen. Aviles is not fazed by her ex in the slightest and manages to stay strong despite any history that may have gone down. In this case, her ex has left her for another girl, who then left him (yes, this is where we'd cue the punching title of the track: "jokes on you"). Anyway, she admirably leaves no room for second chances and leaves her ex-lover to deal with the appropriate consequences of his actions.
If there's anything this song has given me, it's the strength to follow my brain as opposed to my heart, and to know when to say "no," whether it be to someone you love or to someone you have loved.
Sadly, cheating (physically or emotionally) can be a circumstance of any relationship. The 20-year-old is well aware of that and isn't shy to share her story in this track. While I haven't necessarily been cheated on, or lost a partner to an Emily, I've certainly felt low on an ex partner's priority list before, which of course never feels good.
Ultimately, Aviles doesn't express much bitterness toward her cheating partner, but rather gives them permission to leave and go be with who they truly want (Emily). "You go, I'll be fine/ You need her tonight," she sings. So, whether you want to cry it out over your cheating partner or work out your frustrations about not being your partner's top priority, "Emily" is definitely an essential.
4. "How Many Nights Do You Dance With Tears in Your Eyes?"
Fair warning, this song could be a downer (if the title didn't already give that away). It's basically about missing your ex. "I miss the nights that we would drive down the coast/ And I loved you the most," the song goes. But, I mean, hey, was the relationship even worth something if you've never loved them or missed them?
This was just the song I needed to cry it all out, be all in my feelings, and then move on once I had nothing else to let out. This might be my "crying song" on this list, but it's just as essential as the other songs to get you through the most genuine of healing processes.
5. "Maybe It Wasn't Love"
Acceptance is the last stage of grief. This song is about acceptance, which makes it rather powerful as a piece. The lyrics "Couldn't you say/ It was good enough?/ Darling I don't blame you,/ If this isn't something you want to do/ Cause believe me/ I am tired too" make the perfect acceptance speech, that is the speech you'll recite when you come to accept your failed relationship.
If you listen to this song and it truly resonates with what you're feeling, then you'll know you are not far from the acceptance stage of grieving your past relationship. If you feel like where you two left things off was "good enough" and no longer blame your partner, then you are there. You've made it. You are over the relationship (probably).
Love You Later proves she can be the best friend by your side the second your heart breaks, all the way down to the second you find peace. But before that peace can be found, the heart needs to ache, and the feelings need to be expressed.
"So I usually write several songs about it, talk to my friends and family every second of every day to remind myself I'm not alone, take long drives, cry a lot," the singer says when asked about her own breakups. "I couldn't survive a breakup, or any difficult situation, without music. I have to write about it."
That's right, some girls cry, some eat their feelings, and some write an entire catalog of catchy, feely, awesome music. There are endless ways we all deal with breakups, no matter how big or small. Me? Well, I certainly do a lot of that first one (cry) – but not for long. I listen to music. I listen to Love You Later. I feel. I relate. I reflect. I grow. I heal.
And it is through the adventurous, emotive, messy healing that I realize what I realize after every breakup: it is time to love me now.