Eleni Mandell’s New CD, Artificial Fire, Burns Bright

Eleni Mandell is a supremely talented and critically acclaimed songwriter with a singular gift for writing wry, literate songs that synthesize jazz, country, folk, blues, rock and pop. Artificial Fire builds on her 2007 breakthrough, Miracle of Five, adding a more direct, full-band sound to Mandell’s sharp-edged tales of romance, lust and love.

Miracle Of Five ended up on a slew of critics “Best of 2007” lists, including Paste, Harp, ABC News and the Los Angeles Times. LA CityBeat described Mandell’s music as “a kind of pop-out-of-time, often dark yet somehow comforting, and as unforgettable as a warm winter day.” In an “A-” review of ‘Miracle Of Five,’ Entertainment Weekly said Mandell’s lyrics explore “the elusive promise of romance with wry wit and moony wistfulness.” The New Yorker says “Mandell was weaned on artists like Tom Waits and X, and her dark and sexy songs have been compared to those of everyone from Chan Marshall to Patsy Cline. She has a sometimes smoky, sometimes wistful delivery, and, more often than not, her songs take on love from some new perspective.”

Based in Los Angeles, Mandell is a leading light in the city’s Silver Lake music scene, and is part of The Living Sisters, a local “supergroup” also featuring Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Inara George (The Bird and the Bee). All the songs on Artificial Fire were written by Mandell, and arranged, recorded and produced with her longtime band (Drake on guitar, Ryan Feves on bass and Kevin Fitzgerald on drums.), allowing the group’s cohesiveness and musical acumen to shape the tracks while Mandell’s articulate lyrics hold centerstage. Guests include DJ Bonebrake (X, The Knitters), fellow Living Sister Inara George, and Silver Lake music scene regulars Jason Borger, Danny T. Levin and Charlie Wadhams. The album was produced by Mandell, Drake, Feves, Fitzgerald and Dave Trumfio.

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