In January, The Kid Laroi teased his debut album, The First Time. He’s subsequently released singles such as “I Can’t Go Back To The Way It Was (Intro),” “Love Again,” “Kids Are Growing Up (Part 1),” “I Guess It’s Love,” and “Where Does Your Spirit Go?

Uproxx called The First Time one of the most anticipated albums of Spring 2023, but August just began, and the album still hasn’t arrived. On Wednesday evening, Laroi jumped on Instagram to explain the delay.

First the Australian star posted an Instagram carousel with the caption, “I’m sorry I’ve been a bit silent. Been going through a lot recently. I’m good but I’ve just needed space to focus on processing my feelings & work. Here to let you know that a lot of videos have been shot these past couple weeks, I shot the album cover & I’m working with the label to get you a date. I also added more songs to the record. It’s done though. I love you. Thanks for staying with me.”

About an hour later, Laroi went live on Instagram to continue teasing what to expect from The First Time. He said that “all the music is done” except for mixing and mastering. The multi-platinum-certified artist “turned in a version of the album a couple months back” but added more songs to it at the last minute, and he estimated that the finished product will feature 20 tracks — “rap sh*t, alternative sh*t, kind of pop sh*t on there, too, R&B” — as well as an accompanying short film, which is “almost done.”

“It’s f*ckin’ exciting for me because I feel like I haven’t done this in a long time. I’m a little scared, but I’m ultimately super happy that you guys are gonna get to hear this new space that I’m heading in,” Laroi said at one point while seated in a studio. “I’m not saying this because I know everyone says this before they drop a new project, but I genuinely do think this is the best music that I’ve made. I’m positive of that.”

He continued, “It’s kind of crazy to me that the only thing you guys have is F*ck Love because, as much as I’m very grateful for that project and grateful that you guys like it, I think that I’m sort of past that — just musically and topic-wise.”

Laroi noted he played the album yesterday for renowned director and Lyrical Lemonade creator Cole Bennett, who he said “has been a very integral part of me doing what I’ve done.” He said that he set the scene for Bennett by describing The First Time as the culmination of “everything that I listen to in my car when I’m driving around” in terms of genre and influence.

Before signing off the brief Instagram Live session, Laroi showed fans a new tattoo on his thigh that appropriately reads “THE FIRST TIME” but held back from giving away the story behind the ink just yet. All in due time.