Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. – Bewitched‘ by Laufey (pronounced Lay-vay) enchants listeners with a lush vocal delivery, intimate songwriting, and a blend of classical music and mid-century pop.
Described by Laufey as a “love album, whether it be love towards a friend or a lover of life,” the album “Bewitched” explores the nuances of love from a more mature lens than her freshman album, “Everything I Know About Love.”
Her new attitude on love is exemplified through the energetic track, “Dreamer.” The snappy chorus, ‘No boy’s going to kill the dreamer in me’ marks a transition in her songwriting, highlighting her evolution into an experienced lover self-aware of their faults.
Laufey’s rich alto voice also delivers acute power and vulnerability throughout the album. In the genre-bending song “Lovesick” her voice renders both feelings of pain and longing as she belts out the soaring chorus over complex orchestrations and a muted electric guitar.
Songs such as “Serendipity” show off her moments of silent power through light touches of vibrato similar to Ella Fitzgerald. As she sings, she seems to cherish the feeling of being loved by another.
The song remains a world apart from songs such as “Lovesick” and “Haunted.” Her reverence to love is now not towards passion; it is towards comfort, warmth, and the desire for internal peace.
My favorite song is “Letter To My 13 Year Old Self,” Laufey’s self-love magnum opus. With a simple but effective guitar line, Laufey weaves her old insecure self with the artist she is now, wanting to tell her younger self that she is ‘beautiful.’
The love she seems to share with others is now directed towards herself in a poignant moment of self-reflection barely present in the works of many musical artists today.
Sadly, the album tends to falter through many songs through the middle of the 14-song album due to its slow tempo and repetitive production. At times, I felt as though I had to skip through songs such as “Must Be Love” “Misty” and “Bewitched” due to the tiring nature of multiple slow songs with no exciting breaks in between.
Yet, the album is a musical triumph. Each song slowly burns into the soul when listened in tandem, enchanting the listener in Laufey’s musical world.
As a listener, the album Bewitched me enough to keep listening.
Dana Kim is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.