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Monday, June 10, 2024

Laufey enchants on ‘Bewitched: The Goddess Edition’

Featuring four new songs, Laufey’s latest release is well worth your time


By NATALIE SALTER — arts@theaggie.org 


In September of last year, Icelandic-Chinese singer-songwriter Laufey released her long-awaited sophomore album, “Bewitched.” A beautiful blend of jazz and bedroom pop elevated with magnificent orchestral elements, the album proved Laufey’s prowess as an artist while simultaneously launching her into new levels of stardom through hits such as “From The Start.” From the playful “Dreamer” to the cinematic “California And Me (feat. Philharmonia Orchestra)” to the melancholic “Promise,” “Bewitched” shines as an album encompassing Laufey’s skills in emotional songwriting and atmospheric instrumentation. 

On April 26, Laufey returned to the spellbinding world of “Bewitched” to expand the album by four songs, crafting a new version known as “The Goddess Edition.” This extended release brilliantly captures her range as a musician, enchanting an already delightful album.

The first new track is “Bored,” a playfully crafted piece that lyrically chastises an unnamed lover for their vain self-absorption. In its sound, the song falls into Laufey’s lighter, bedroom pop-esque creations, upbeat but restrained. Instantly, Laufey demonstrates her vocal talents, her voice infectious with emotion and flowing seamlessly against the soft piano and drum-led background. 

“Trouble” follows suit in terms of its instrumentation. It is a gently composed song that reflects upon the singer’s difficulties in overcoming her feelings. Midway through the piece, Laufey’s love of jazz finds its way through a striking chorus of trumpets, bringing a pop of brightness. “Trouble” boasts relatable lyrics and a soothing rhythm, making it a pleasing backdrop to the listener’s own emotions.

Laufey shifts to try her hand at another jazz standard on “It Could Happen To You.” More fast-paced than the prior two tracks and far more jazzy, the song is an injection of energy well-placed among the more reflective tracks surrounding it. Laufey’s voice shines against the classy musical backdrop, and it is an absolute delight to listen to from start to finish. Likewise, the song’s playful nature shows that the singer shines in every direction of lyricism, and she can dance from melancholia to youthful whimsy with remarkable ease.

The final track also lends the extended album its name: “Goddess,” a withdrawn and emotionally poignant song that opens up Laufey’s most vulnerable side. A tragic listen that muses upon a toxic relationship steeped in unrealistic expectations, the artist’s hurt is felt pervasively in every note of the song’s piano. Near its end, the prior quietness of the piece is shed, allowing Laufey’s voice to stun while laced with anger and despair. Though a surprisingly sad note to leave the album on, “Goddess” is unforgettable and moves the listener time and time again.

If Laufey’s newest clutch of songs is any indication, her career is sure to only move upward. The singer teased fans that she may release an album of jazz standard covers in the future, a promising choice as “It Could Happen To You” is an absolute standout. Just as the album title suggests, Laufey is nothing short of bewitching, and she’ll continue to spellbind us in the future.

Written by: Natalie Salter — arts@theaggie.org


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