: Laufey: five essential albums

Laufey (photo by Blythe Thomas, PR)


3.08.22 00:00

As WFUV honors Women’s History Month, we’re also announcing a handful of “Ascending Women” musicians who are writing their own history with exceptional new music. Some make returns; others are at the very beginning of their career. We asked these artists to write about the “Five Essential Albums” that shaped their own path.

The languorous and jazzy songs of the 22-year-old Icelandic-Chinese multi-instrumentalist Laufey may have a vintage vibe, but its lyrics dissect Gen Z relationships and anxiety with acerbic wit. On Laufey’s most recent single, “Valentine,” she reflects on a budding love affair, not totally sold on romance: “Maybe I should run away,” she ruminates, “I I’m only twenty-one. I don’t even know who I want to be.”

It’s pretty clear, though, that Laufey, real name Laufey Lin Jónsdottir, knows exactly who she wants to become. Raised in a family of musicians – her mother is a violinist and her grandparents are music teachers – she fell in love with the songs of Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker at an early age, thanks to her father’s extensive collection of jazz records. , and learned jazz piano on her own. (His twin sister, Junia, is also a violinist.)

When she was just 15, Laufey made her debut as a cellist with the Symphony Orchestra of Iceland and around the same age she reached the final of “Iceland’s Got Talent” and the semis. -finals of the Icelandic version of “The Voice”. Laufey, who grew up between Reykjavík and Washington DC, also studied at Reykjavík College of Music and Berklee College of Music in Boston; it was while she was still a student in the States that she released her first single, “Street by Street” in the spring of 2020 on a lark.

She graduated early and released her first EP typical of me in the spring by 2021. This EP spans from a sister song for Junia, “Best Friend” (“But I promise I love you/Even with that hairstyle/I’m sorry I made fun of it/ It’s Not Your Fault Sounds Like Shit”), to warmly sung ballads, including one, “Like the Movies,” which she also performed in her American television debut on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in January 2022. Her voice settles into a lower register, much like a cello, and her delivery is conversational; there is an amiable intimacy in all of Laufey’s songs.

Laufey, who is currently based in Los Angeles, will release her debut album later in 2022 with upcoming tour dates as well. His “five essential albums” for FUV draw on story-rich selections and distinctive vocal styles – not unlike Laufey’s own songs.

Laufey: Five essential albums:

Chet Baker, Chet Baker sings: It Could Happen To You
It’s my favorite album of all time. The standard arrangements on this album are so authentic! Chet approaches singing like a trumpeter, which provides the most beautiful vocal tone.

Stan Getz and João Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto
I always listen to this album in its entirety from beginning to end. It’s an instant mood booster and the best introduction to bossa nova for everyone!

Carole King, Tapestry
Tapestry is storytelling at its finest. His writing is so lively; every song is like a little movie scene in my head.

Norah Jones, Come with me
Norah Jones is truly one of my biggest idols. Come with me It was the first time I heard jazz mixed with folk and pop, which greatly inspired my own music.

Emily King, The switch
Emily brings together so many different sounds such as choirs, strings and harmonies in one album – it’s the most magical listening experience! Emily’s soulful voice and writing are unmatched.

– Laufey Lin Jonsdottir
March 2022