Laufey uses complex imagery and warm jazz fusion in their debut album

Icelandic singer and songwriter Laufey sings about the struggles of growing up, the fear of falling behind in life and in love, and learning to let go in her debut album, “Everything I know about Love.”

The album was released on Aug. 26. 

Laufey expresses these themes with her signature sound — a warm, comforting blend of inspiration from jazz and classical music.

The album’s tracklist has twelve songs, each with distinct and emotional lyrics that resonate with Laufey’s listeners, as seen from the positive response  to the album on Twitter.

On Oct. 14, the album’s deluxe edition was released, featuring three new songs. 

Beautiful Stranger:

Laufey captures the universal feelings shared by hopeless romantics everywhere with this song.

Although the lyrics depict an innocent love, they ultimately convey a tragic message. The spark of attraction she feels toward passing people in her day-to-day life will never develop into something more significant:

 “Maybe we would have exchanged a few words / A fairytale moment could have occurred /  But my beautiful stranger will have to remain / A stranger until I see him again.”

By the end of the song, Laufey is left yearning for a love like the ones she has seen in romance  movies.

With soft, muted instrumentals and a soothing voice, she expresses the dejected feeling of what could have been, weaving her vivid fantasy of a beautiful love story with a stranger on the train.

Because of the quiet guitar in the background, the song sounds almost like a nostalgic lullaby — I’ll admit, I have dozed off a couple of times while listening to this song. It’s just that relaxing and comforting. 

Rating: ★★★★☆


Compared to some of the other tracks on this album, “Valentine” is much more upbeat!

Here, the jazz elements in Laufey’s music style really shine through. I especially love the relaxing piano melody that is incorporated into the song.

“Valentine” is one of Laufey’s most well-known songs, and for good reason! It has the type of melody that can easily get stuck in your head. In fact, there have been many times where I have found myself humming the chorus when I should have been doing homework.

“‘Cause I think I’ve fallen in love this time,” Laufey sings. “I blinked and suddenly I had a Valentine.”

The simplicity of the lyrics make them so charming and addictive to listen to.

Rating: ★★★★★

Dear Soulmate: 

“Dear Soulmate” is one of my favorite songs on this album. I truly felt moved by Laufey’s music.

Compared to most other mainstream female artists and singers, Laufey’s voice is a lot deeper and lower. Her voice is incredibly emotional and soulful, almost reminding me of a cello with its ability to convey a vast array of feelings, such as despair, sorrow, and hopefulness.

Also, Laufey’s talent at developing song lyrics continues to amaze me, no matter how many times I’ve listened to her music.

The lyrics for “Dear Soulmate” are written like a letter to her future soulmate, and they are filled with longing for that special someone.

For example, Laufey sings:

“Dear soulmate / Do you think of me? ‘Cause I do…One day I’ll give this song to you.”

The words she uses are the perfect combination of hope for the potential happiness that awaits her in the future and uncertainty of when she will finally meet her soulmate.

Listening to this song feels like the comfort of a soothing cup of tea on a winter’s day. Laufey always knows exactly how to personalize her songs, making “Dear Soulmate” especially, incredibly intimate.

Rating: ★★★★★

Everything I Know About Love:

Although most of the songs in this album are more melancholy, “Everything I Know About Love” breaks this pattern with its positive, upbeat instrumentals. The lyrics still adhere to the theme of romance.

The song provides a nice, refreshing contrast in color with Laufey’s other works on the album, and it has the ability to instantly put me in a good mood.

When I listen to this song, I am reminded of walking through a bustling city, sipping coffee on a comfy shop couch and enjoying the little luxuries in life.

Now, it is my go-to song for when I go on walks or wake up in the morning and need to listen to something happy to start the day off right.

The only reason it isn’t ranked as high as some of the other songs on the album is because it feels different from Laufey’s usual style.

Although “Everything I Know About Love” still has jazz elements in the instrumentals, Laufey’s signature “jazzy pop” sound was missing for me.

By itself, it truly is a good song, but because this song is the title track of the album, I expected a lot. However, as much as I searched, I didn’t feel the same charm that normally attracts me to Laufey’s music.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Night Light:

“Night Light” is  the most nostalgic song on the album, describing her childhood home and telling the story of her young memories. 

The quiet piano, coupled with Laufey’s gentle, whisper-like, creates the perfect musical atmosphere to reflect on the tiny joys in childhood.

I love how the song was composed to sound like a lullaby because it feeds more into the childhood vision that Laufey saw. 

Each vivid description adds more to the story being told through the lyrics, and they only make the song more emotional.

At the beginning of the song, Laufey describes the pathway she takes to get to her room:

 “Up the staircase, first door to your left / Walls of white, a window, 10×10 / A treasure chest of everything I’ve ever known / Safe inside my childhood home.”

The subtle details that Laufey includes displays her fondness for the home that holds her childhood memories. Only one who has taken that path thousands of times would be able to describe it with such illustrative imagery.

I’m not graduating quite yet, but I can already imagine the nostalgia and reluctance to close the childhood chapter of my life and leave for college that I will experience.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall rating: ★★★★☆

Story by Lauren Lu

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