When I discovered that Laufey's new album was titled ‘Everything I Know About Love’ it got me thinking about what I knew about love. Not a lot, I thought. With a dating history that’s more Britney Spears ‘Toxic’ than ‘Love Me Tender’, no-ones coming to me for the manual on healthy relationships.
The jazz musician, who grew up between Iceland and Washington DC, made a name for herself when she rose to the top of the charts with ‘Valentine’ and ‘Let You Break My Heart Again’. By merging the sentimentalities of old jazz with modern references Laufey has gained a fanbase of old souls trapped in Gen Z bodies. Her album is embellished with anecdotes from her life, one of my favourites being “Above the Chinese Restaurant” which paints a picture of her huddled up in blankets and eating dumplings from the restaurant next door, and feels like excerpts of an old diary. The whole album feels like a lyrical scrapbook of memories and nostalgia, bound together by soothing melodies. It struck me that for her, love isn’t simply about romantic love and heartbreak and instead encompasses the romance of mystery, of nature and of everyday interactions with strangers.
Listening to Laufey moved me not just because of her lyrics but because of her vulnerability, because of the grand orchestral moments in between the soft vocals, and because it reminded me to give myself to the small, seemingly insignificant moments in life. My first boyfriend told me that if you pay attention, you catch the magic. Blink (or look down at your phone for long enough) and you just might miss it. Hey, maybe I do know something about love after all.
Rachel Edwards: Hey Laufey! How’s your day going? Laufey: My day’s going quite well thank you! Just trying to survive this LA heat!
RE: Congratulations on ‘Everything I know about love’. Have you got a favourite song on the album? L: Thank you!! It’s so so hard to choose it changes up a lot but I would have to say Fragile.
RE: You’ve been playing instruments since you were 4! Did you always know you’d be a musician? L: I think I knew deep in my heart that I was always meant to be a musician. I was a little scared of jumping into the profession as I felt it was almost too good to be true. I’m happy I took the jump though.
RE: I love the photo of you and your grandma on Instagram. Can you tell me about your relationship growing up L: The Chinese side of my family are all classical musicians so I’ve always tied my Chinese identity to music. I speak Mandarin but it’s not my best language so we used music to communicate in many different ways. My grandma taught me piano every summer growing up and she really instilled in me a love for very romantic classical music by composers such as Chopin and Rachmaninoff - the classical music that I take a lot of inspiration from now in my writing and composing! She always told me that i was destined to become a musician, even when I was really young. She was right!
RE: And you’re a twin! Are you close? Did you ever switch places to trick people? L: I am! Junia and I are super close! She actually did the creative direction for the album and also played violin on 5 of the songs! We did switch places one time! It was the first and last time we did it - we were in separate 7th grade classes and decided to switch for our Danish classes but it kind of ended up being a fail because she had to take a pop quiz for me and I got to watch a movie in her class.
RE: Back to the album… to me the track list reads like chapters to a coming of age story. What’s the number one thing love has taught you? L: That it can be as beautiful as it can be messy.
RE: Your life seems so busy, how do you manage to juggle friends and relationships along with such a crazy work schedule? L: It can be quite difficult! Jumping in and out of tour and work obligations can be tricky at times when it comes to forming relationships. I think my friends are aware of my schedule and are very understanding and supportive of it. They’re always ready with open arms whenever I need them.
RE: I like the song ‘falling behind’ because I think the lyrics are so relatable for so many people. What advice would you give to someone who feels like they’ve fallen behind in life? L: Everybody’s working at their own pace - so don’t stress too much and try your best not to compare yourself to others.
RE: How do you stay motivated when you’re having down days? L: I listen to the music that reminds me of why I do what I do. Usually some classical or jazz music that reminds me of my childhood. Then I’ll call my mom.
RE: I love your book club! What’s one book you recommend that everyone should read? L: The Secret History by Donna Tartt!
RE: Can you see yourself ever writing a book? L: Definitely! I would love to.
RE: Where are you most excited about playing live? L: Probably at home in Iceland! I’ll be performing with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and I’m just so excited to hear symphonic arrangements of my songs!
RE: And lastly… what’s your favourite F Word?! L: …Floating