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Westwood Horizon

Most Enchanting Songs of Laufey’s ‘Bewitched’

Avi Rajesh
Bewitched was released on Sept. 8 by Laufey, a well-known artist.

Laufey’s second full-length album, Bewitched, is a symphony of modern jazz interlaced with Laufey’s signature style and voice. While the whole album is an amazing soundtrack and worth listening to, I believe that these five tracks, in no particular order, showcase Laufey’s talent best.

From The Start

From The Start is about loving someone and the accompanying fear that those feelings are unrequited. The track begins with a simple, syncopated guitar rhythm that continues throughout the song, as more instruments are slowly introduced into the backing track. Laufey describes her feelings when she is alone with the person she loves and how it hurts her that they are so oblivious. 

“Oh the burning pain / Listening to you harp on ‘bout some new soulmate.”

She then goes on to emphasize how long she has felt this way, and that she realizes that her feelings are not wholly rational.

“And I sound like a loon / But don’t you feel it too? / Confess I loved you from the start.”

Laufey then describes her fears regarding her love, and the complications that surround it.

“Unrequited, terrifying / Love is driving me a bit insane.”

From The Start concludes where it began — with Laufey confessing her feelings in slow, drawn out notes as the instrumentals fade away. 

From The Start is one of the highlights on Bewitched due to the synergy between the instrumentals and vocals. As Laufey’s voice rises and falls, the instrumentals follow. This creates a cohesive, pleasant sound that I love. Furthermore, the recurring syncopated rhythm that plays at the beginning on guitar and later on piano is a unique, jazzy touch that ties the whole song together. 


In Promise, Laufey sings about breaking a promise she made to herself about moving on. 

“I made a promise / To distance myself.”

However, she soon reveals how difficult keeping that promise was, and how the loss of her relationship is hurting her. She then expresses that while it hurts to be in a relationship, it is worse to be without that person.

“It hurts to be something / It’s worse to be nothing with you.”

Promise shows a different side of Laufey that is distinct among other tracks on Bewitched. The instrumentals are more simplistic and slow, with fewer layers than a typical Laufey song. The combination of these instrumentals with Laufey’s vibrato-filled, clear vocals demonstrates Laufey’s range due to the vast differences in tone and tempo between Promise and other songs on Bewitched such as Dreamer. I feel that this contrast shows Laufey’s talent and multi-dimensional musicality.

Letter To My 13 Year Old Self

Letter To My 13 Year Old Self is a nostalgic, emotional message to Laufey’s adolescent self. Laufey begins by recounting her experiences when she was younger and describing the common anecdotes of not fitting in and feelings of disbelonging. The song then takes a turn as she encourages her younger self.

“You’ll grow up / And grow so tough and charm them.”

As this new motif is introduced, Laufey describes her current life and describes it to her teenage self.

“One day, you’ll be up on stage / Little girls will scream your name.”

The song’s nostalgic tone then shifts into a more positive light, as Laufey affirms to her younger self that her life will turn out okay. At the conclusion of the song, Laufey expresses her desire to help her younger self.

“I wish I could go back and give her a squeeze, myself at 13 / And just let her know, know that she’s beautiful.”

This song’s sound is comforting, calming, and soft. The steady guitar melody throughout the piece occasionally accompanied by other instruments brings a tone of comfort and warmth, and the vocals achieve this same purpose both musically and linguistically. I think that this song is the most emotional one on Bewitched, and it displays Laufey’s ability to evoke an emotional response in her listeners. 

Second Best

Second Best speaks about tunnel vision and the denial that stems from love. Laufey reflects on the relationship that is now over and talks about the signs that she ignored.

“Kissed me with somebody else in mind / I loved you so much that I settled for less.”

The song then shifts to the present tense, and Laufey reflects on how her life has improved and questions why she still thinks about the relationship she left and why she cannot move on.

“Why am I still wondering / If I stand a chance or if you’d have me back?”

This musical phrase continues on to the end, and Laufey acknowledges what she truly was to her lover. She accepts that her lover did not feel the same as she did, and she can no longer ignore that fact.

“Oh, you were my everything. I’m just your second best.”

Second Best is my favorite track from the album, as the story it tells comes full circle and its melody and lyrics accompany the story perfectly. While Laufey does not fully move on, she acknowledges that she is “still a little in love with this mess” and is at peace with that. The fact that she does not move on completely and say that she has completely healed makes Second Best far more relatable and easier to empathize with.

California and Me

California and Me is the most unique song on Bewitched, as Laufey is accompanied by a full orchestra. This song talks about a lover who moved away and Laufey’s failure to make him stay. 

“Could’ve fought for you but I just let you leave / Hurt too much to consider you didn’t love me.”

This theme of being in denial about another person’s feelings is common throughout the album, and California and Me is no different. Laufey then describes her own feelings in the present and the turmoil she feels.

“I imagine you holding her in your arms / Laughing ‘bout how I thought that you were the one.”

Not only did this person leave Laufey, but he also left their home in California. Laufey links the two and conveys that her lover left both her and California behind; the two are connected. This idea is also expressed musically through the orchestral backing track’s interconnectedness with Laufey’s vocals. As the song comes to a close, Laufey reiterates how much this loss hurts her and how she blames her lover.

“Can’t quit this, so damn wicked to leave / California and me.”

California and Me is atypical to the jazz genre, as its orchestral backing track is very flowy and lacks many stereotypical jazz elements such as improvisation or scatting. This song’s notes and phrases constantly rise and fall in pitch, and this effect creates a tone that is reminiscent of tides advancing and receding. Overall, California and Me is one of my favorite tracks on this album because of how well Laufey’s voice blends with a full orchestral ensemble and the distinctiveness of this track in its entirety. 

Concluding Thoughts 

All in all, Bewitched is a testament to Laufey’s talents and musical ability. By putting her own spin on jazz, she has reawakened the genre and brought it into the spotlight. I am eager to see how Laufey’s career progresses, and if Bewitched is any indication, there is nowhere to go but up. 


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About the Contributor
Avi Rajesh
Avi Rajesh, Reporter
Class of 2025
Hi! I've always loved photo and video editing, and I'm super excited to be a part of student press. A couple of my hobbies involve cooking, baking, and robotics. In my free time I love to listen to music, play the cello, and drink bubble tea!

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