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Last Summer

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

One word:


Real Artist

Thank you Eleanor for not changing your name like "Lana Del Ray" did or should I call her Lizzie?

Her voice is strong yet smooth, definitely unique and recognizable. This album flows together as a whole but most songs can stand on their own. I would enjoy seeing her live as that would be an upbeat show.

Witty, catchy, altogether awesome!

Solid from start to finish. Another Friedberger masterpiece. Definitely a departure from the Fiery Furnaces, but not an unwelcome one. I'm not sure who the musicians on the album are, I've never heard of them, but each track is very well played and the lyrics are amazing as you would expect. Eleanor's voice absolutely shines on this album.


Born: September 2, 1976 in Oak Park, IL

Genre: Alternative

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

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...
Full Bio
Last Summer, Eleanor Friedberger
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Customer Ratings