Elk Bell: SuperFragilistic

It’s a Sunday morning and I’m on a two hour train ride home to see my new nephew. The sky foreshadows things I hope won’t happen, and Elk Bell’s SuperFragilistic offers itself as the soundtrack to at least half of the two hour trip. “Holiday Island” starts the record and my trip. The slow pace matches the pace of this so called “efficient” form of public transportation. Funny that a song about a holiday would be the first one as I leave a hearty tourist destination and only see things that a tourist would never want mementos of; trailer parks, and a concrete river.

Passing Baldwin Park, I realize why I decided to write this like a letter to a friend, or a diary entry. One, I just finished Perks of Being a Wallflower and two, there were moments in SuperFragilistic when I felt like Elk was just singing her journal pages for the world. “I’ll Love You if You’ll Love Me” is not a concept I can say I’ve thought about, ever, but it’s one some might explore after hearing this one. Then there was “Never Wanted You Like I Do Now,” which played out like a unnerving song of infatuation. One listen and you can see the lyrics written over and over again in a notebook hidden under a mattress.

Overall, the songs wear a somber shroud, nothing too lively except “A Little Cold Outside.” It’s a repetitive, fun track that you wouldn’t mind singing along to in a hairbrush.  Elk Bell’s SuperFragilistic is for fans of the likes of Vanessa Carlton and Jewels’ less mainstream, pop hits and more of their singer/songwriter works that are the soundtracks for open mic nights in the heart of New York.

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