Typical of Me EP: Laufey

By April Lee

Laufey’s music may have seemed to go viral overnight, yet that comes with a story. From a young age, she learned the cello, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, a violinist, to whom she attributes her love for music. A modern twist is her combined interest in jazz and classical music, which defines her as the singer-songwriter she is today.

Typical of Me is Laufey’s debut EP, released in 2021. The lockdown was the perfect opportunity for this Icelandic native to write as much music as she desired.

“Street by Street” opens the album with her soulful voice on top of an inviting strum of the guitar. Layers of jazz-infused ad-libs and R&B beats make it impossible to hold back from snapping along with the back track. Based on a heartbreak, she is reclaiming the city where they met. It was an all-time favorite song with the media, earning praises from Billie Eilish and ranking #1 on Icelandic Radio, even before it was released as part of this EP.

Laufey knows the way to our hearts and creates indelible colors with her voice. In “Magnolia,” her vocals feel like a big, warm hug for women who don’t recognize how beautiful they are. Her ponderings have become empowering for others. 

“Like the Movies” takes us through time travel as Laufey puts herself in the shoes of a woman in an old movie strolling mindlessly down the streets. Soft, improvisatory trumpet solos appear here and there, working in tandem with her vocals.

There are times when she wants to “Get soaked in the rain and smile through the pain/ Slow dance under stormy skies,” but other times is struck with reality — “Oh, maybe I’m just old fashioned/ Read too many fairy tales.” No matter what generation, old or young, we all wonder how to navigate life in the midst of love. 

Any recording of Laufey would be incomplete without an example of her vintage musical taste. She takes a jazz standard “I Wish You Love” and covers it in a bossa nova style. In her hands, the tune is transformed into a charming, lively, and feel-good rendition that is irresistible to groove on.

On the other hand, “James” is charged with feelings as Laufey narrates how she “fell into the flames,” regretting her dates with a heartbreaker “fool.” Here, she mixes in more dramatic harmonies with her jazzy guitar than on any other track. 

The penultimate track, “Someone New,” is a bittersweet goodbye that speaks to millions. “I wonder if I’ll ever find someone new/ I have to get off Instagram/ I keep on going back/ Looking at our memories/ I know that you will soon delete.” Reminiscent of a jazz ballad, “Someone New” features piano riffs while her vocals remain rather still. She feels helpless, but she knows life moves on.

The final track “Best Friend” explores the hope of romance. A wholesome and innocent ending to the EP that surely will bring a smile to your face. When in need of a break, Laufey’s carefree vocal interludes and silly memories (“But I promise that I love you/ Even with that hairdo/ I’m sorry I made fun of it”) will melt your heart. 

With her richly hued voice and mature spirit, Laufey stands out as an emerging artist. In Typical of Me, she paints an evocative self-portrait.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s