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Laufey, 'Fragile'

Long live the sensitive. If that's you, there may come a time when someone unprecedented enters your life, coaxes you out of your shell and helps lower your defenses. That's the subject of "Fragile" by Laufey, on which the Icelandic modern jazz singer and cellist revisits a particularly vulnerable moment.

On "Fragile," from Laufey's debut album Everything I Know About Love, upbeat cello finger-plucking creates a bossa nova-esque melody that counters the lyrical content. The song is a delicate display of tension. Teetering between past and present, the verses set the scene: "Grew up in a fragile case of glass, but hammer away it's time to crash," she sings with a full, yet airy tone. Then, the crash. Verses melt away and a sweeping violin — played by the singer's twin sister — comes out to play. The chorus is set amid glimpses of a hazy memory. There's candlelight, slow music, skin on skin; the room is spinning. When the dust settles, all that remains is a simple confession from Laufey: "I've never been so fragile." She lingers on the final word accompanied by haunting background vocals. With the album's first track, Laufey leaves the door wide open for what the rest of the project has in store.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vanessa Handy
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