The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Album Analysis: “Everything I Know About Love”

Laufey’s latest hits.
Laufey, 24-year-old Chinese-Icelandic singer, recently shot into the limelight, reintroducing bossa nova to a generation of listeners.

Laufey (pronounced Lay-vay), an Icelandic-Chinese singer-songwriter, has unquestionably carved a reputation as a prominent voice in the music industry. She connects with her fans through a multifaceted angle on love, producing multiple captivating and cinematic songs that unearth both love’s beauty and ugly complexities. Laufey’s first album, Everything I Know About Love, is a beautiful album that features contemporary, classical, and jazz components that explore her extensive experiences and thoughts on love. 

“Fragile,” the first song introduced on her album, portrays vivid imagery of spinning rooms, skin on skin, and a soft candle glow—the perfect vision of one’s first impression to a new love, as she allows her glass case to “shatter” into her beloved. However, as the song goes on, Laufey faces heartbreak and notices the vulnerability that surfaces as she yearns for someone to love her the same way her beloved once did. She describes herself as “losing sensibility,” as she recognizes her fragility after encountering her first love and first heartbreak.

Laufey’s second song, “Beautiful Stranger,” is a tribute to a fleeting crush she met while commuting. After walking out the train doors, she earnestly ponders the what-ifs that could have occurred if she stayed on the train. Illustrating brief, overromanticized interactions through her lyrics, Laufey contemplates the passing glances and smiles, curious if they could’ve been something more. Her vocals are paired with soft and delicate notes, highlighting the longing of colliding into her “beautiful stranger.”

Her third track, “Valentine,” is undeniably the most popular on the album, considering it single-handedly amplified Laufey’s virality by the thousands. The upbeat song explores the lighter side of romance, with newfound love defined by innocent doubts, happy surprises, and hints of naivety. Her next track, “Above the Chinese Restaurant,” ties into her previous song, serving as a tender reminder to appreciate the present before it comes to an end. The melancholic instrumental combines with the regretful lyrics to produce a wistful image of a couple focusing on short funds and snoring neighbors, instead of cherishing shared dumplings and neon lights.

“Dear Soulmate,” Laufey’s fifth track, contains the “soulmate trope” in which two people are inevitably destined to fall in love. Laufey wonders about where she will meet her true love—or if she already knows them and is waiting for her destined fall. Throughout the song, she yearns the many possibilities of the one who will put her heart to ease and dedicates the song as a love letter to the one who is irrevocably linked to her. 

Following “Dear Soulmate,” Laufey describes the feeling of being in love while detailing the world with “enchantment in the air” and being “in a haze.” “What Love Will Do to You” is a song composed of disorientation and chaos behind rose-tinted glasses while she basks “in the blinding bliss of flushed-out cheeks.” Similarly, her next song, “I’ve Never Been In Love Before,” illustrates Laufey’s first time encountering love while expressing it as “too strange and strong,” connecting with her fans by exploring the uncertainty and jumbles of love.

Her next three tracks focus more on the downsides of love, starting with “Just Like Chet.” This somber track compares herself to Chet Baker, with his classic “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” She sorrowfully acknowledges the difficulties of falling out and in love too hard, connecting with her next track, “Everything I Know About Love.” Laufey reveals her doubts about love, questioning if “these songs are just telling plain old lies?” In parallel, “Falling Behind,” a bossa-nova themed song, features her struggle to find love and feeling behind as everyone around her enters new relationships, emphasizing her stress with the memorable line, “Everybody’s falling in love and I’m falling behind.”

Contrasting with her songs concerning Laufey’s struggles of love, “Hi” is a song that shows not only her love for her old partner, but also her old hometown. “I wanted to send them a text but didn’t dare to, so I wrote this song instead,” Laufey commented. The song is produced in an intimate way, almost like a voice memo, accompanied by a soft and slow backing to really put a spotlight on the lyrics. 

Sharing a soft feeling similar to that of “Hi,” “Dance With You Tonight” is a tune Laufey wrote for a boy who asked to dance with her at a bar, though she was too tipsy to do so. It’s a more silly and fun song complemented with jazz-like harmonies—a gentle break between the album and her varying experiences with love.

“Night Light” presents as more of a comforting lullaby, tackling the emotions and nostalgia of her childhood bedroom—adding a lighter, but passionate, perspective to her album.  

“I set out to illustrate the significance of childhood bedrooms and how many experiences and memories they hold,” Laufey mentioned.  The power ballad slowly ends with Laufey saying goodbye to a younger version of herself, showing how much she has grown as a person.

Her album ends with three more songs about life going too fast, feeling lucky by virtue of her partner, and finishing with “Questions For The Universe,” a song signifying that although Laufey has grown through an array of experiences, she still has a lot more to learn.

It is clear the variety of Laufey’s perspectives on love resonates with many, and freshman Gloria Kim gives us a little glimpse of the effects of her music. 

“I love the type of music Laufey makes, for I see it as a gentle perspective on love,” said Kim. “Everything I Know About Love portrays the wonders one might feel going through love in an admirable way—however, when you take a good listen to her lyrics, they also include the hopelessness of love we may feel in the most creative ways. Her album persuades me to believe that the downsides of love are part of what makes up for love’s beauty, emphasizing all the ups and downs that make love so special.”

Laufey’s unique sound has undoubtedly raised the standards in the music industry, weaving her versatile knowledge about love to produce a beautiful blanket that remarkably shatters and comforts her listeners simultaneously. With every new song, Laufey proves that, although a majority of her songs may relate to love, she can invent original and raw music that touches the hearts of her fans where words can’t.


Photo courtesy of Gus Philippas from FLICKR.COM

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Arcadia Quill Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *