10 Songs, 39 Minutes

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.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Charley9338 ,

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.

skinny johnny ,

One word:

Brilliant!

RicardoNYC ,

Once in a while

…along comes a tune on the alt radio that makes me pull out my phone and Soundhound it because I never catch the names or the sequences, or whatever. That's the case with "My Mistakes". Well, one thing leads to another and before you know it, I've worn that track out, caught her live show in Brooklyn several weeks ago, and have a new found love in Eleanor Friedberger; not to mention a man-crush on her guitarist. Highly recommend, even if you never heard of Fiery Furnaces, like me.

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