The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Laufey Charms on Newest Release “Bewitched”

If you have scrolled on TikTok within the last few months, there is a high chance that you’ve heard of neoclassical jazz singer Laufey. Soundtracking modern heartbreak with her distinctly vintage, jazz sound, Laufey is able to attract a niche audience who yearn for new lush, cinematic music. On Laufey’s newest release Bewitched, it’s safe to say that Laufey has found that sound.

Bewitched is a safe and sweet record to dwell on this upcoming fall season. Laufey’s lush vocals glisten over the swooning jazz instrumentals in 14 sentimental, touching songs.

From the opener “Dreamer,” Laufey immediately establishes her crooner inspired sound. Her deep, soft vocals lament over her criticism of casual dating. 

The lyrics on “Haunted” are as beautiful as the instrumentation. Laufey’s voice is definitely an instrument on these tracks. As her voice looms over the song, you can feel the genuine emotion she is conveying throughout the track.

“Letter To My 13 Year Old Self” is the standout track on Bewitched. Laufey’s most personal song details her experience in school as an Asian student in a predominantly white school. The nostalgic yet heartbreaking lyrics “So sorry that they pick you last/ Try to say your foreign name and laugh” deliver an exceptional amount of emotion when coupled with the sentimental instrumentation.

“From The Start,” the lead single, is a Bossa Nova reminiscent, sweet sounding ballad. From the finger-picking guitar to the soft drums, “From The Start” is a pleasant, short song that stands out as Laufey’s pop songwriting talent.

Throughout the album, I found myself growing tired of the same, one note, vocal jazz she was delivering. Laufey certainly is not doing anything new on Bewitched, which leads me to be a little bored. 

Laufey did have the opportunity to do something interesting with her style though. By blending relatively modern topics, such as casual dating, with the vintage sound, Laufey is able to create an interesting juxtaposition that makes listening to the music a novel experience.

But that is also a problem, the music relies on novelty. While these songs are sweet and lush, they lack originality. By the time I heard the first track on the album, I already heard the other 13. Novelty will only get you so far when you rely on nostalgia. 

And even with that, this blend of old and new has been done before and done better. Lana Del Rey was able to perfect the juxtaposition Laufey attempts by interpolating modern trap beats to her vintage, Nancy Sinatra-esque sound. By doing this, Rey was able to create her own image instead of staying in the shadows of those who came before her, which Laufey is doing.

While Laufey did not reinvent the wheel or expand on her influences, Bewitched is a sweet sounding album that leaves me excited to see how she will grow on her later releases. But for now, Bewitched stands as a solid, vocal jazz record that doesn’t shy away from what makes the genre so great: the emotion.