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El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

‘Bewitched’ flawlessly paints a portrait of unrequited love

Laufey’s sophomore album beautifully juxtaposes themes of love and heartbreak
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Warner Chappel Music
Laying on the floor dressed in silver, the “Bewitched” album cover portrays Laufey alluringly staring at the audience.

From the buoyant “Lovesick,” to the melancholy of “Second Best,” jazz musician Laufey produces another unskippable album. Released Friday, Sept. 8, “Bewitched,” foregrounds the stages of a relationship built on unrequited love, culminating in heartbreak. Through her vulnerable lyricism and use of her low register, the 14 tracks released perfectly adhere to Laufey’s musical style.

“That when I talk to you / Oh, Cupid walks right through / And shoots an arrow through my heart / And I sound like a loon / But don’t you feel it, too?/ Confess I loved you from the start” (“From The Start,” Track 10)

Employing themes of infatuation in tracks “From the Start,” “Misty” and “Serendipity,” Laufey sets the initial stage of a relationship. All three tracks have a distinct sound based on the varying ratios of jazz to pop used. Track 11, “Misty,” sounds like an early-age blues song, with the piano and cymbal lightly playing in the background paired with her slow and stretched-out vocals. In contrast, “From The Start” is an upbeat song using guitars and faster-paced vocals. 

Meanwhile, “Must Be Love,” “While You Were Sleeping” and “Bewitched” are all representative of the honeymoon stage of a relationship. Laufey’s use of slow melancholic background music beautifully contrasts her charming lyrics elucidating her love, which is especially shown in track four, “Must Be Love.”“I’m all in, I’m fallin’ / Can’t get back up / Can’t think right, too tongue-tied / It must be love.”

The vulnerability seen in “While You Were Sleeping” showcases her insecurity about being in a relationship, even going as far as to say, “I can’t believe / That you noticed me.” These lyrics inadvertently oppose track 13, “Letter To My 13 Year Old Self,” where she looks back at her younger self and realizes she shouldn’t have been insecure, portraying her obliviousness to current insecurities. 

“When the gold rays fell on your skin / And my hair got caught in the wind / The choir sang a melancholic hymn”(“Lovesick,” Track 6)

From trying to hold onto their memories together in “Lovesick” and “Haunted,” even going as far as to call her ex in “Promise,” Laufey portrays the different stages of heartbreak, finally reaching acceptance as she looks back on her “foolish” unrequited love in “Second Best” and “California and Me.” Ultimately, moving on with “Dreamer,” Laufey portrays her maturity, flaunting how she won’t let anybody “pierce [her] porcelain heart” or “kill the dreamer in [her].”

While meaningful, the similarities in “Haunted” and “Promise” as well as between “California and Me” and “Nocturne (interlude)” cause aspects of the album to be redundant. This redundancy is also seen through the repetition of specific words throughout the songs, such as “melancholy.”  

Apart from the repetitiveness, being only her sophomore album, Laufey has proven herself a mature artist, bewitching the audience with her magnificent vocal control and use of contrasting soft melodies with solid lyrics. From the jubilant melodies to the soulful blues undertones, each track seamlessly blends genres of jazz and pop while also painting a vivid picture of a love story many can relate to. Haunting listeners from the start with juxtaposing emotions of serendipity and sadness, “Bewitched” leaves viewers lovesick, hoping for the promise of another album. 

4/5

About the Contributor
Ananya Chaudhary, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Ananya is currently a junior and Arts & Entertainment editor for El Estoque. She enjoys reading, watching "How I Met Your Mother" (all nine seasons) and going on walks with her dog.
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