Artist: Carrie Elkin
Album: The Penny Collector
Release Date: 03/10/2017
With six albums to her credit, Carrie Elkin’s established a solid reputation for a sound that tilts inward through tender trappings and solitary sentiment. While her songs naturally tend to be somewhat low key, the emotion they evoke has a way of seducing their listeners and enticing them into sharing Elkin’s introspective gaze.
The Penny Collector takes a particularly somber perspective, not surprising since it was written and recorded in the aftermath of her father’s passing. The lingering sadness is pervasive throughout, making Elkin’s hushed, mournful delivery both affecting and embracing. The plaintive pulse that underscores “New Mexico, “Always on the Run and “Lamp of the Body” in particular evokes a gospel-like reverence that requires the listener to lean in so as to fully appreciate her sadder sentiments. Plaintive and reflective, the music seems to flow from the core of Elkin’s soul, casting a quiet haze that’s often barely above a whisper.
To help her accomplish this task, Elkin enlisted producer Neilson Hubbard, a man know for his darker designs and autumnal impressions. The music rarely abandons its ashen trappings, leaving it behind only briefly behind for the plucky “Albatross” and the lighter airs of “My Brother Said.” A reflective take on Paul Simon’s “American Tune” imbues atmosphere into the ambiance, evoking textures and trappings that are both mellow and meditative to equal degrees. A record that leaves a formidable impression, The Penny Collector gathers ample emotion.
— Lee Zimmerman