Mandell, Eleni - bio

Mandell, Eleni

Am 24.01. 2014 wird LET'S FLY A KITE das neue Album von ELENI MANDELL auf Make My Day Records / Indigo erscheinen (CD/ Vinyl/Download):

12 neue Songs die sie mit den Produzenten Neil Brockbank und Robert Treffern (u.a. Nick Lowe) sowie der kompletten Nick Lowe Backing Band (Geraint Watkins (keyboards) , Matt Radford (upright bass), Robert Trehern, (drums), Martin Winning (clarinet, saxophone) und  Gregory Townson (guitar) eingespielt hat,  als Backing Stimme fungiert Angie Pollock (The Lightning Seeds, Goldfrapp).

Das Ergebnis ist ein äußerst facettenreiches und opulent instrumentiertes Album, das neben den bekannten Singer / Songwriter & Americana Einflüssen auch mit Gospel, Blues, Country, Jazz und Mariachi Elementen spielt.

Schon immer hatte Eleni Mandell ein Händchen dafür kleine interessante Geschichten in kleine wunderbare Songs zu packen, je nach Gemütslage wechselte sie dabei die musikalische Ausdrucksform und varierte auf den verschiedenen Alben Sounds und Gestus.

Bereits auf dem Vorgänger I CAN SEE THE FUTURE zeichnete sich jedoch ab, dass sie musikalisch einen roten Faden gefunden hat (wir nannten es ein wunderbares „Crooner“ Album), der dem Album eine wunderbare Stringenz verlieh und es zum (Hör)Genuss werden ließ.

Auf Let’s Fly a Kite hört man nun eine Künstlerin die sich gefunden hat, die selbstsicher mit verschiedenen Stilmitteln experimentiert und es dabei schafft jedem Song das nötige Etwas zu verleihen, um im Albumkontext harmonisch zu funktionieren, aber auch als ’Stand Alone’ in jeder Playlist hervorstechen zu können.

Wenn sie in  „Something To Think About“ mit engelsgleicher Stimme singt: „The president said he close the jail, cause it’s the right thing to do, but the president didn’t close the jail like he promised to“ dann passiert das so charmant und augenzwickernd, dass es tatsächlich anregt darüber nachzudenken und ist gleichzeitig stellvertretend für die neue Selbstsicherheit bzw das neue Selbstverständnis mit dem Eleni Mandell heute ihre Songs präsentiert.

Info für:  I Can See The Future

4 Jahre sind seit dem letzten Album ARTIFICIAL FIRE vergangen, Eleni ist in der Zwischenzeit Mutter geworden und hat mit dem Sideprojekt The Living Sisters  ( Eleni and Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) und Inara George (The Bird and the Bee)) für Furore gesorgt.  I CAN SEE THE FUTURE ist ein warmherziges "Crooner" Album, weniger Indie als der Vorgänger, dafür mehr Soul, Gospel, Jazz oder Country Elemente. Wunderbar in Szene gesetzt von Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, The Strokes, White Stripes).

LA songstress Eleni Mandell has created an impressive body of work over the last decade. Her critically acclaimed solo albums, characterized by her sultry, airy vocals, languid LA noir persona and sophisticated songwriting and arrangements have had critics drawing comparisons to Blondie, Elvis Costello, PJ Harvey, Chrissie Hynde, Joni Mitchell, Talking Heads and Television. As a vital member of the LA songwriting scene, she is also a member of indie folk supergroup The Living Sisters  - Eleni and Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Inara George (The Bird and the Bee).

The album's title comes from a chance visit to a tarot card reader over a decade ago. "She asked, 'Are you a musician or a poet?'" recalls Mandell. "And she described my music in this incredible way that made a lot of sense to me." Within a year, critics were doing much the same thing, lauding kudos on Mandell's 1999 debut, Wishbone. The card reader also told the singer she'd marry at age 32. "Then I asked about having kids... and she had a weird response."

Fast forward to 2010. Mandell's life was in tumult. Her seventh album, Artificial Fire, had been released the year before as the nation was in the throes of a deep recession. Not only was she still unmarried, but several long-term relationships -- both romantic and professional -- had recently soured. Starting a family without a dad at hand seemed a daunting prospect.

"The fairy tale I'd thought I was going to have didn't happen, so I had to make something happen for myself," she admits.

After much soul searching, she forged ahead on her own, and engaged the services of an anonymous sperm donor. "I can tell you that he's an astrophysicist and likes classic rock." It was during these emotionally charged months that I Can See The Future was composed. Although Mandell characterizes this period as one of "frustration, disappointment, and intense sorrow," the word that best captures the mood of her eighth full-length is "bittersweet."

Produced by Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, The Strokes, White Stripes), the two put together a impressive group of players for the sessions; their combined dream teams yielded a variety of instrumental flavors that complement and frame Mandell's dreamy, understated singing. The pedal steel guitar of Greg Leisz helps paint the Southwestern imagery of "Desert Song," saxophonist Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) burnishes the soulful contours of "Who You Gonna Dance With," and Benji Hughes plays Lee Hazlewood to Eleni's Nancy Sinatra on the rambling "Never Have To Fall In Love Again." Joey Waronker plays drums throughout, including the brushed snares of the jazzy "So Easy." Mandell's colleagues from vocal trio the Living Sisters contribute backing vocals throughout, while the string and horn arrangements of Bright Eyes' Nathaniel Walcott lend a classic pop sensibility to tunes like "Magic Summertime" and "I'm Lucky."


Whether she sings of dying embers or smoldering passion, a warm glow imbues the music

throughout. I Can See The Future reflects on romance with poetic precision, yet also encompasses Mandell's wistful reflection on the condition her condition was in ("Bun in the Oven") during the album's gestation. All 13 of these new songs are marked by the wry humor and lyrical economy that have long made her work so striking, as well as the tasteful arrangements, empathetic arrangements and timeless songcraft that's always characterized her work.


Eleni Mandell can see the future. But is she psychic? No. Not in the supermarket tabloid kind of way. But she can read what is written on her heart, and transform those sentiments into sublime songs. And that is a rare, extraordinary gift, too.