In Bewitched, listeners are taken to a jazz and classical-infused music experience filled with magic from the Icelandic-Chinese singer-songwriter, Laufey. Released on Sept. 8 under AWAL, her sophomore album highlights love in all forms with songs such as “From the Start,” “While You Were Sleeping,” “Promise,” and “Haunted.”
Described as “a love album, whether it be a love towards a friend or a lover for life,” Laufey told New Musical Express in an interview that her sequel album highlights the magic in the love of being young. This 14-track collection is filled with swooning lyrics and nostalgic melodies that immerse its listeners in the picture-perfect and heartbreaking moments they may encounter in life. Moreover, it contains hints of modern pop lyrics that have made today’s generation resonate with Laufey’s jazz tunes.
Dreaming up the next chapter
Opening with “Dreamer,” this amusing song captures the feeling of wanting to chase your dreams and not letting anyone stop you from chasing them. Whether it may be big or small, the singer asserts “no boy's gonna be so smart as to try and pierce my porcelain heart. No boy's going to kill the dreamer in me.” It’s a fun song that whisks you away to your imagination.
The starry-eyed beginning turns into heartbreak with “Second Best.” With the subject of giving too much and receiving less, it’s a tragic song that contemplates on one-sided relationships. The slow drumming and soft strings accentuate the painful chorus of “Oh, you were my everything, I'm just your second best.” The song shows the difficulty of moving forward from people who don’t value you as much as you thought they would.
Moving on to “Haunted,” the difficulties of moving forward shift to overwhelming feelings of denial. As the singer tells herself, “I swear to myself as he leaves at dawn, this will end, 'til he haunts me again,” her love for her significant other will keep returning despite her feelings not being reciprocated. Each verse starts steadily with guitar strumming and builds up to a burst of strings and jazz beats which makes the song more hypnotizing to listen to.
Holding the pieces of heartbreak
Next is “While You Were Sleeping,” another dreamy track on this album. It transports its listeners to summer nights with the warm breeze and gentle ocean waves. You’ll enjoy the movie-like piano melodies and moderate acoustics that intertwine to create the magic of a summer whirlwind romance only found in this song. Similarly, “California and Me” narrates a similar story but ends in sorrow. As the song features the Philharmonia Orchestra, the classical lines complement and make the song’s message of acceptance of heartache more powerful.
As one of the singles released prior to the album, “Promise” is ethereal with its melancholic lyrics and gentle piano accompaniment. The song displays the feeling of not being able to cut off someone you’re tied to. With a powerful build-up in the song’s bridge, “I've done the math. There's no solution. We'll never last. Why can't I let go of this?” the singer expresses her inability to let go of her beloved.
Waking up to a new hope
Then we have “From the Start,” the album’s main single which tells the story of being in love with a friend who doesn’t like you back. With its upbeat shakers and guitar plucking, the song is playful and is filled with scats that are signature to Laufey’s jazz roots. Moreover, there’s a cheerful attitude alongside the desperation to confess seen in the lyrics “And I sound like a loon but don't you feel it, too? Confess I loved you from the start” which makes the song quite fun to sing to.
The album then wraps up with the title track, “Bewitched,” which is more fantasy-like in comparison to the other songs. Laufey showcases her captivating vocals that are fit for a fairytale romance. While the song supposedly closes the album, it instead opens a new chapter of love and wonder for the future to come.
Casting new spells in music trends
Classical and jazz music are two genres that aren’t immediately as appealing to the young generation as one would expect. However, with Laufey’s creativity and musical skill, she’s able to capture the hearts of young listeners and introduce them to both of these genres. The singer-songwriter marries classical, jazz, and pop music in a way that makes her listeners try diving into music genres outside of their tastes.
- “Lovesick” - A song about longing for someone you love and carrying the heartache that comes with it.
- “Letter to My 13 Year Old Self” - As a letter for her teenage self, Laufey motivates and comforts her younger self to continue chasing her dreams.
Indeed, Bewitched enchants listeners with soothing music and hopelessly romantic tales. Laufey shamelessly pours her emotions on this album—enchanting listeners with her voice and captivating tunes. We're excited to see what Laufey's future music releases have in store.
For now, bask in the magic of romance of Bewitched, available on various streaming platforms.