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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

“I want a love like I’ve seen in the movies/ That’s why I’ll never fall in love…”

The sentiments above come directly from the chorus of “Like The Movies” by the Icelandic multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Laufey (pronounced lay-vay). 

As a child, I obsessively re-watched movie musicals from the golden age of Hollywood: Singin’ in the Rain, The Sound of Music, The Music Man. Now, as a college student, I continue to gravitate toward romance on the screen with films like Notting Hill, Sleepless in Seattle, and Before Sunrise. 

I’m convinced that the movies turned me into a hopeless romantic because it clearly was not my everyday life as a BU student in 2023. 

However, it seems that more and more members of Gen Z may be leaning into my silver screen fantasy of one true love by embracing music that is just as dreamy.

Laufey, born Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir, released her second album, Bewitched, on September 8, 2023. Earlier this year, Bewitched’s lead single, “From The Start” went viral on TikTok. So viral, in fact, that she released an entirely separate music video for a sped-up version of the song. 

While I can’t call myself the biggest fan of TikTok’s tendency to reward speed over substance, I am happy to see how quickly Laufey’s popularity has grown over such a short time.

She released her first single, “Street By Street” in 2020, which she wrote in her dorm room at the nearby Berklee College of Music. In 2021, she released a seven-song EP, Typical of Me. By 2022, she was the most-streamed jazz artist on Spotify, according to the podcast Song Exploder

Two tracks from her 2022 album, Everything I Know About Love, have also gained popularity on TikTok this summer: “Valentine” and “Falling Behind.”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by your Instagram feed. Anyone who’s ever dared to open the app on a holiday that seems to have been recently and specifically invented to make single people feel bad about themselves (National Boyfriend Day, I’m looking at you) will be able to relate to the chorus of “Falling Behind”:

“‘Cause the sun’s engaged to the sky

My best friend’s found a new guy

I’m only getting older 

I’ve never had a shoulder to cry on

Someone to call mine

Everybody’s falling in love and I’m falling behind.” 

Although her lyrics are equal parts painfully relatable and aspirational, the star of the show has always been Laufey’s impeccable vocals. She has the ability to seamlessly and effortlessly transition between her upper and lower register, moving from a deep, rich tone to a lighter, softer one. 

Bewitched’s opening track, “Dreamer,” begins with a barbershop quartet-style intro that highlights her vocal abilities and is reminiscent of many ‘50s doo-wop classics like “Earth Angel” and “In The Still of the Night.” It then transitions into a more musically upbeat main portion:

“I’m moving up into a cloud, into my fantasy

And no boy’s gonna be so smart as to

Try and pierce my porcelain heart

No boy’s going to kill the dreamer in me.” 

These themes of hopeful longing and dreams of unconditional love, despite how easy it is be jaded by modern casual dating, continue through the tracklist of Bewitched

Laufey seems to have relocated from her original city of Boston, as originally referenced in “Street by Street,” instead favoring a West Coast setting, with references to “standing out on Melrose” in “Promise” and “traffic on Sunset” in “Must Be Love,” and of course the track “California and Me.”

The songs of Bewitched bring to mind the old Hollywood glamor of 1950s Los Angeles where classics Sabrina, Roman Holiday, and Funny Face were filmed and clubs were filled with Dior gowns, smoke, martinis and the sounds of jazz legends like Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. 

Laufey’s collaborations include “California and Me” and “Let You Break My Heart Again” with the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra. She has also worked with Adam Melchor on “Love Flew Away” and with dodie on the Christmas classic “Love To Keep Me Warm.”

In an homage to her musical roots, Bewitched contains a cover of the classic jazz standard “Misty,” which has been covered by many esteemed vocalists, including the aforementioned Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and most famously, Johnny Mathis. 

Both of her previous releases have also featured covers of well-known standards, with Typical of Me including a cover of “I Wish You Love,” made popular by Sam Cooke, and Everything I Know About Love including her rendition of “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” popularized by Chet Baker. The latter album also references Baker on the track “Just Like Chet.”

Just like me, Laufey is a rom-com fan. In an interview with Nylon, she said that the 1998 Nora Ephron film You’ve Got Mail provided inspiration for the song “Serendipity,” set on the Upper West Side.

Following Typical of Me and Everything I Know About Love, Bewitched cemented that Laufey’s success lies in her pitch-perfect combination of the modern and the classic. 

Alex Ramos’ Pitchfork review said it best: “her style falls somewhere between the two, meshing jazz instrumentation and the careful diction of the Great American Songbook with contemporary themes: big city living, social media, the anxiety of being in the ‘talking stage’ with a crush.”

I hope you enjoy Bewitched as much as I do!

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Ruby Voge is a member of the writing team at Her Campus BU. This is her first semester with HCBU. She is a junior transfer student originally from Princeton, NJ, majoring in journalism. Her favorite topics to cover are movies, music, history, and everything else pop culture! Ruby transferred from American University after her freshman year, where she started out as a sociology major. Outside of HerCampus, Ruby is a features writer for the Daily Free Press, an entertainment writer for WTBU news, a music writer for The BU Buzz, and a DJ in Training for the WTBU show 2Reel. In her free time, Ruby loves baking, collecting Joni Mitchell records, writing reviews on Letterboxd, and the New York Times mini crossword. She is an expert on espresso drinks, Hugh Grant rom-coms, and buying more books than she has time to read. Her favorite spots in the BU area are Clear Flour bakery in Brookline and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.