Eleanor Friedberger

Eleanor Friedberger - "Stare At The Sun"

Eleanor Friedberger - "Stare At The Sun"

SOUNDS LIKE: Sun drenched pop; EP-era Fiery Furnaces
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:  Because this is what you want to listen to this summer...and because you can see her live tonight!

As one half of The Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger (along with her brother Matthew), trafficked in a unique brand of cerebral art-pop in which 10-minute songs about old ships and entire albums incorporating narration from the duo's grandmother were the de rigeur.  Even when they released more traditional pop (see EP),the songs were frequently opaque or drenched in irony, encouraging analysis over emotional response.  However, since striking out on her own with 2011's Last Summer, Eleanor has followed a different path, peeling away the layers of complexity to reveal at last the emotions which were only hinted at in most of the Furnaces catalog (author's note: I love the Fiery Furnaces and I hope their hiatus is not permanent).

"Cause when I'm with you, everything's treasure
I forget what its like to be gone
I'm far from the town, in the suburbs of your pleasure
I've been in exile so long"

Lyrics like that would have had no place in Ms. Friedberger's old work but they and their ilk form the bulk of her new album, the tellingly titled Personal Record.  In the hands of another artist, sentiments of this sort, delivered so directly could (and have) come across as trite...but on this record they just sound true. 


Eleanor Friedberger plays at U St.. Music Hall tonight.  Tickets are still available.

WIN STUFF: Win 2 tix to see Eleanor Friedberger at U Street Music Hall!


Indie songstress Eleanor Friedberger, the female half of brother-sister duo Fiery Furnaces, has been exploring in recent years what it is like to be a solo artist. Soon after announcing Fiery Furnaces’ hiatus in 2011, Eleanor released Last Summer, the solo album that proclaimed her ability to write, record, and perform successfully independent of her brother Matthew. Earlier this month, nearly two years after Last Summer, Friedberger released her sophomore solo album Personal Record, which has reaffirmed the poppy songbird’s penchant for creative, observant storytelling. 

With Personal Record in tow, Friedberger makes her way across the country, with a stop nearby at U Street Music Hall, before departing for the United Kingdom. Playing in support of Friedberger are up-and-coming indie-psych band TEEN, who have been releasing music through DC's own Carpark Records. 

For your chance to see Eleanor Friedberger and TEEN on Thursday, June 27 at U Street Music Hall, please do one of the following:

1. Leave a comment below, using a valid email address and the name you'd ilke your tickets to be held under should you win, telling us your favorite band of siblings.

2. Retweet this or tweet the following:

I'm entering to win tix to see Eleanor Friedberger at U Street Music Hall! @ChunkyGlasses #EleanorUHall

The winner will be chosen this Thursday morning, so be sure to enter before then! 

Not feeling lucky but still want to see these girls rock U Street Music Hall? Tickets are available here

New Wave In A New Time: Eleanor Friedberger @ The Black Cat 7/12/11

When you’re half of a band as well known as The Fiery Furnaces, people, right or wrong, are going to have expectations.  Eleanor Friedbergers’s first victory over those expectations this week was the release of her excellent new solo album, Last Summer. Breezy, poppy and loud when it’s gotta be, Last Summer is an unmitigated hit, as well as being one of our favorite records of the year so far. Her second victory over those expectations this week was the performance that she delivered to a welcoming crowd assembled in the Back Room of the Black Cat on Tuesday, the  night of that records release.

My expectation for  the show was that it would be somewhat reserved, but perfectly serviceable. I also (wrongly) assumed that Eleanor might be the type who is solely focused on the music, acknowledging the crowd once in a while, but for the most part just performing her material to the people who paid to see it.