Native Icelandic singer Laufey released an album titled Bewitched on Sept. 8, 2023. Fans, like myself, have been eagerly waiting for the release of the album since she has slowly been teasing songs from it for a while now. This is her second album that she has released to date, and it is definitely one for the books. It has even broken the record on Spotify as the biggest jazz debut album receiving 5.7 million streams on release and subsequently 145.9 million streams since.
You may know of her or her music thanks to social media as songs of hers such as “Valentine” and “From the Start” have featured as prominent love songs. With 13 million monthly listeners on Spotify, she’s quite popular, and the hype may be from the fact that she is a jazz singer and songwriter. According to NPR, Laufey’s biggest hope is that she can modernize jazz for the younger generation and reignite the flame of a genre of music that has lost its popularity over the years.
While Laufey does have a style, this album stands out from her previous one with a bigger impact and prominent storytelling. Her album has 14 songs with a length of 48 minutes and 27 seconds full of emotion and true imagination. I could not get out of my feelings on release day between the heartbreak, bliss and nostalgia those songs invoked. Maybe it is because it was past midnight, but I still feel those songs with a strong and deep certainty that everyone everywhere should listen to these songs.
Songs like “While You Were Sleeping,” “Haunted” and “From the Start” encapsulate the overwhelming feelings and emotions accompanied when falling in love. The unexpected, maybe even inconvenient times you fall in love coupled with the confession dreams explained through soft yet bold lyrics. Yet songs like “Second Best,” “California and Me” and “Letter to My Thirteen Year Old Self” dig deep into feelings of abandonment and uncertainty within oneself. While these songs depict her deep love for someone else, “My Thirteen Year Old Self” is a song that radiates self love and the words she wished she could say to her as a child because no one knows what us as a child needed to hear than us.
Overall, this album and singer have me in a chokehold. I listen to this album while driving, studying and even to sleep. She encompasses the feelings tied to a girl being in love and what it means to be a girl hurt by it all the same. Laufey slayed.