10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

As lead singer for the Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger skillfully navigates the often-complicated pieces written by her brother Matthew. They’re great songs, but you shouldn’t get attached to the hooks or chord changes because they regularly get tossed overboard when things suddenly shift gears. On her impressive debut, Last Summer, Friedberger works with simpler material and sparser arrangements. Friedberger sings and talk-sings in phrases that can be nervously speedy or rhythmically incisive — or suddenly shift gears. The album opens strongly with “My Mistakes,” whose chugging groove is decked out with a springy keyboard riff and a rhythm guitar part that evokes Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy. Most of Last Summer’s lyrics detail situations set in New York locales, but “Inn of the Seventh Ray,” with its Beatles-tinged piano part, is a mid-tempo tour through Los Angeles. (The title refers to the venerable Topanga Canyon hippie restaurant.) The best thing here might be “Roosevelt Island,” a funky wonder with a stunning arrangement, the tale of a summer day in New York colored by vivid sensations and emotions.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As lead singer for the Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger skillfully navigates the often-complicated pieces written by her brother Matthew. They’re great songs, but you shouldn’t get attached to the hooks or chord changes because they regularly get tossed overboard when things suddenly shift gears. On her impressive debut, Last Summer, Friedberger works with simpler material and sparser arrangements. Friedberger sings and talk-sings in phrases that can be nervously speedy or rhythmically incisive — or suddenly shift gears. The album opens strongly with “My Mistakes,” whose chugging groove is decked out with a springy keyboard riff and a rhythm guitar part that evokes Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy. Most of Last Summer’s lyrics detail situations set in New York locales, but “Inn of the Seventh Ray,” with its Beatles-tinged piano part, is a mid-tempo tour through Los Angeles. (The title refers to the venerable Topanga Canyon hippie restaurant.) The best thing here might be “Roosevelt Island,” a funky wonder with a stunning arrangement, the tale of a summer day in New York colored by vivid sensations and emotions.

TITLE TIME
4:28
4:07
3:20
4:33
5:20
2:47
3:36
3:39
4:30
3:13

About Eleanor Friedberger

First known as one half of the brother-sister duo the Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger headed out on her own in summer 2010, recording her solo debut Last Summer. The album, which featured playful but more straightfoward tracks than the Furnaces' work, was released by Merge in July 2011. For 2013's Personal Record, Friedberger crafted a set of songs that paid homage to the introspective pop of the '70s. She returned late in 2015 with the single "False Alphabet City," a companion piece to visual artist Sara Magenheimer's film False Alphabets that was also Friedberger's first release for Frenchkiss Records. Her third full-length, New View, was recorded with her backing band Icewater after a move to upstate New York. It arrived in January 2016. ~ Heather Phares

  • ORIGIN
    Oak Park, IL
  • BORN
    Sep 2, 1976

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