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Let's Fly a Kite

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Editors’ Notes

While on tour with Nick Lowe, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell worked out plans to have Lowe’s longtime producer Neil Brockbank work on her next album. That turned into having Lowe’s backing band join her in the studio, with Lowe stopping by with biscuits for their tea. Mandell quickly got to work writing these songs; several of them address her life as a single mom of twins whom she either hauls around on tour or has her parents take care of when she’s away. “Put My Baby to Bed” emerged from a phone call with a babysitter. “Wedding Ring” looks at the desperation some people meet upon considering the single life. Brockbank’s arrangements are light and playful, obviously not unlike the past few Nick Lowe albums. Yet, Mandell is capable of holding her own with just a guitar on the affecting “I Like You.” But she clearly enjoys settling into center stage with the likes of Geraint Watkins on keyboards, Matt Radford on bass, Robert Trehern on drums, Martin Winning handling the wind instruments, and Greg Townson of Los Straitjackets on guitar.


Born: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singing and writing in a style that fuses vintage barroom cool with a here-and-now intelligence and faintly ironic wit, Los Angeles hipster Eleni Mandell initiated her recording career with arty-cool albums packed with her smoky, noir-ish sketches. Mandell, who was a huge fan of L.A. punkers X and beatnik revivalist Tom Waits in her teens, was raised in the Sherman Oaks region of the San Fernando Valley, and began performing out during her years as a student at Berkeley. Soon after, she fell under...
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Let's Fly a Kite, Eleni Mandell
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