Who is Eleanor Friedberger? Friedberger is previously known for her work in Chicago power-pop harmonie-musik The Fiery Furnaces, a band she created with her brother Matthew at the turn of the millennium. They're too modest to mention that they've won a number of awards, sold out happenings the world over and made nine albums, most recently Take Me Round Again, a collection of cover songs from their previous album. That experience, combined with the fact that The Fiery Furnaces aren't breaking up, inspired her to make her first solo record, Last Summer, last summer.
In the music, you will hear the casual confrontation of the most emotionally direct Fiery Furnaces songs, plus a lot of snap, crackle and pop. In fact, in these songs made of memories, you will hear the future. Sparks, Donovan, Procol Harum, Kath Bloom, Lo Borges and Todd Rundgren too. Friedberger's phrasing is as good as anyone's; even better, when the line's over and most other singers would leave it right there, she'll throw in an unnecessary extra syllable?a "yuh" or an "er," even an "oh oh." It's like she hates silence. "Eleanor Friedberger's music improves on silence": there's your headline.
With Last Summer, Eleanor Friedberger may well be telling us about last summer, or various last summers, or even-WATCH OUT!-the last summer there will ever be. . . One thing is certain: she's playing a long game. Welcome to Level One.