Thursday, February 08, 2007

In House #1803: Eleni Mandell's Miracle of Five; New Elvis Perkins

Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell has for the last few years been one of L.A.'s little secrets. Sure, her string of five albums in five years beginning in 1999 saw her being mentored by Chuck E. Weiss, produced by Jon Brion, and compared to Tom Waits and PJ Harvey (not to mention sharing L.A.'s Best Songwriter award with the late Elliott Smith), but her exposure was slow-going outside of Hollywoodland. Mandell returned this week with her sixth full-length, Miracle of Five, an album that once again mixes up the elements she's always explored in her music: lounge-born torch songs, intelligent pop, and the occasional twang. Whatever she's been doing in the three years since her previous release, it suits her; the vocal performaces on this collection are easily the best of her career. The spooky rock-vamp of "My Twin," and the hushed tones of "Moonglow, Lamp Low," are equally stunning in her hands, revealing a diva's polish where there were previously rough edges. Helping Mandell out in her pursuit this go around are Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and X/Knitters drummer DJ Bonebrake, among others, seasoned musicians who no doubt brought a lot of their own ideas to the music. In short, it's a release more than worthy of her quickly growing discography, and another gem in what has been an impressive showing for female singer-songwriters thus far in 2007. Mandell plays a series of west coast/northwest dates this month before embarking on a European tour in March.

Eleni Mandell

In House #1803.
Airdate: 2/8/07
Focus: New release from Eleni Mandell, Miracle of Five, plus new music from Elvis Perkins, Rickie Lee Jones, Jesse Malin, and more.

Eleni Mandell, from Miracle of Five:
  • "Girls" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #253

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