Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

It’s (Be)witching Hour and Jazz is Officially Back.



With the release of her sophomore album, “Bewitched,” Icelandic-Chinese recording artist Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir has already broken records for jazz music. 

The album has debuted #2 in the USA and globally on Spotify charts, just behind Olivia Rodrigo’s “GUTS. It has also broken the all-time record for a jazz album debut on Spotify with more than 5.7 million streams. 

But the music world would be remiss to limit this album, and what Laufey ultimately does, to just one genre. If anything, as Laufey dips her euphonious toes into bedroom pop, bebop jazz and singer/songwriter alternative sounds, “Bewitched” is about as genre-bending as a trio between Clairo, Ella Fitzgerald and Yebba. 

With that being said, Laufey’s jazz influence is clear From the Start of her album (see what I did there?) If you didn’t, do yourself a favor and join the other 106 million people who have streamed her bonafide Tik-Tok hit single “From the Start.” With nearly 13 million monthly listeners, Laufey has grabbed the attention of a young audience. 

But she’s not gaining this new audience by abandoning the heart of jazz. In fact, Laufey leans into fast tempo, nostalgic 1940s jazz harmonies from the moment she opens the album with “Dreamer.” Nostalgia aside, Laufey’s messaging speaks to modern listeners as she’d “rather be alone at tea or love when nobody’s making me,” because “no boy’s gonna kill the dreamer in me.” 

That isn’t to say Laufey doesn’t appreciate a thematic ballad, showcased by “Haunted.” Evidently, the singer is falling into a powerful, unrequited love — stirring her soul like the cellos that usher in the song. The album begins to take shape as Laufey uses her sultry vibrato, enchanting those who listen to her love story. 

Over the next two songs, Laufey’s love grows until she is completely “Lovesick.” Strung along by an intense “E” chord, the listener can only prepare themselves for what it sounds like to “fall in love in just three nights.” Her choral tones reflect the song’s imaginary choir that sings as her hair gets caught in the late-night wind.

Hoyas should be especially proud of Laufey’s musical expertise — she was once a young protégé at D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a pedigree evident in her use of the Philharmonic Orchestra on “California and Me.” She is also able to combine this with her jazz influences, covering Johnny Mathis’ “Misty,” with a new and refreshing tone. 

Her song-writing experience shines through on  “Letter to My 13 Year Old Self,” which dives deeper into who the artist is as a person. It’s here that we get a glimpse into the fact that Laufey was just a normal teenage girl who endured everyday trials and tribulations, like being picked last in gym class. Even more candidly, the artist touches on grappling with ethnic diversity as her dark curly hair differs from the sea of blonde bobs and blue eyes, and the fact that peers laugh at her foreign name. 

Throughout “Bewitched,” Laufey shows signs of hope as she learns about the captivating nature of new, time-stopping, world-freezing love. With artists like Laufey, the future is bright for jazz fans. I encourage you to give it a listen; you just can’t help but fall for an album like “Bewitched.” 

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