Allegra Krieger has a gift for noticing life’s fleeting moments of magic and turning them into beautiful sonic vignettes. She’s a careful observer, and her musings prove a quiet watchfulness and a mature understanding of the world. On her latest album, Fragile Plane: B-Sides, she explores what it means to exist on the ‘Fragile Plane’: a state of being where shared human qualities matter more than individualities do.
Krieger is a singer-songwriter based in Manhattan, and Fragile Plane: B-Sides, from October, is a follow-up to her earlier-released I Keep My Feet on the Fragile Plane. Though it doesn’t have quite the emotional depth of the original project, B-Sides has its place. It’s sonically and lyrically similar, suggesting Krieger just had more to say. She opens the eight-track LP with “Chemical Flower,” a dreamy entrance for the album as gentle vocals come in over soft guitar plucking. With lyrics about a Craigslist woman who loved astronomy and the ceaseless barking of the neighbor’s dog, Krieger brings us right into her world — a place where these things don’t go unnoticed.
These sketches of life are what Krieger’s music is all about. Her matter-of-fact lyrics are easily the highlight of this album: she has a way of delivering profound feelings through simple statements. The album carries on with several songs similar in their sentiments. On “Joke/Dream,” her voice takes on an almost Angel Olsen-esque quality (Krieger opened for two of her shows this fall) as she sings about double standards and inequality. “Here” directly addresses the fleeting quality of the moments she sings about; the simple, honest declaration of “I Want to Help You Move (No. 1)” conveys a deeper sentiment about what it means to care for someone.
On the barebones demo track “Lingering,” she calls the Fragile Plane a place where you “exist without a body or a name,” and finding and appreciating the little things in life brings us closer to that place. The closeout, “Living in the City is so Beautiful,” is a folksy, easy song, possibly the best from the album. Interjected with a jokey quality—lines about living on the corner of a highway and a construction site and getting kicked out by a landlord—it’s a sneakily beautiful ode to life itself. She calls back to the Fragile Plane with a line describing the wind kissing your cheek as a brief communion between the ether and the flesh: her combination of something so concrete like flesh and so abstract like the ether points to an appreciation for middle grounds and captures the beauty of liminality.
Overall, Fragile Plane: B-Sides made me want to take a closer look at the little things—to appreciate the intricacies of life. We all have our disparate lives, with our own jobs and homes, and families and friends, and opinions and beliefs, but the Fragile Plane is about what we share and what we can all find and appreciate in each other.