Eleanor Friedberger

Eleanor Friedberger

New View, the third solo album by Eleanor Friedberger, was rehearsed in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park and recorded in upstate New York. The former is a place where characters in Warren Zevon songs get clingy with their old lady while toughing out heroin withdrawal; the latter is where Bob Dylan got clingy with Robbie Robertson after flying off his motorcycle and revisiting the highway with his face. Fittingly, there's a fair amount of recovery in the songs of New View (though you won't find much in the way of smack or motorcycles). "Today I'm frozen but tomorrow I'll write about you," Friedberger sings, and much of the album seems set in that post-traumatic tomorrow, when stuff's calmed down, the figurative road rash has healed, the metaphorical junkie sweating up your mattress has finally packed his bags.

Counting the albums she made with her brother Matthew as the Fiery Furnaces, this is Friedberger's twelfth full-length. I've been listening since the beginning, and to me New View seems like just that -- a vista that's opened up when I thought I'd seen everything Friedberger had to offer. (Then again, I believed her last album Personal Record was indeed her best to date, so maybe I'm just susceptible to album titles.) Before she entered the studio with New View producer Clemens Knieper, Friedberger made a playlist of reference songs. A live version of "Warm Love" by Van Morrison was on there, as was 80s-era Dylan, Neil Young at his most bummed out, a scattering of Robert Wyatt-era Soft Machine, and the odd gem by Slapp Happy, Fleetwood Mac, Funkadelic, et al. There are ghost notes of all of those influences on New View, but mostly you hear Eleanor Friedberger. She's never lacked confidence -- this is someone who once took a fractured nine-minute ballad about the international blueberry trade and put it across like it was "Thunder Road" -- but there's a new kind of confidence on this record. You can hear it on the warm, stately "Your Word," which holds a special place for Friedberger. She says:

"It was the last song I wrote for the album. I finished the lyrics with lines taken from a dream that Jonathan Rosen had about me. I stayed at a friend's house in LA who had a bunch of later George Harrison CDs-- already a huge fan, I thought I knew it all. But I heard 'Love Comes To Everyone' and it kind of blew me away. Everything I love about Harrison-- beautiful slide guitar and vocals and vaguely spiritual lyrics-- plus a weird disco thing. That was the big influence for the sound."

The songs on New View were recorded live to tape with simple instrumentation: drums, bass, Wurlitzer and 12-string acoustic guitar on almost every track, courtesy of the band Icewater (Malcolm Perkins, Jonathan Rosen, Michael Rosen, Noah Hecht), with Dorian DeAngelo contributing a handful of well-placed guitar solos. Producer Knieper (son of Jurgen Knieper, the German composer whose credits include the score to Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire) gives the album a classic sound, like something that's existed forever on a record collector's shelf, wedged in with Dylan's New Morning and John Cale's Vintage Violence.

For everything new about New View, it still fits comfortably in the continuity of Friedberger's work. By coincidence, Knieper's studio in Germantown, NY where the album was recorded is in a barn that was once rented by Matthew Friedberger and stored the furniture of their grandmother -- the same grandmother whose spoken word reminiscences were the basis of the Fiery Furnaces LP Rehearsing My Choir. You won't hear much of that album here, but songs like "Open Season" recall the Furnaces at their most magisterial. The wry, plainspoken "Because I Asked You" builds on the style Friedberger first polished on her solo debut Last Summer. And then there's "A Long Walk," the sun-striped finale that lends a memorable afterglow to New View. It's a sweet, aching goodbye from an album that seems full of them.


Since 2002, TEEN's lead singer/songwriter, Teeny Lieberson, has been playing in bands around New York City, eventually becoming the keyboard player for the indie-psych band Here We Go Magic in 2008. During a hiatus from the band in the winter of 2009, Teeny wrote a five-song EP Little Doods, the foundation of TEEN's full-length, In Limbo. Working with many of the songs written that winter with the desire to expand the sound from four-track/lo-fi to a fully flushed out sound, Teeny recruited her sisters, Lizzie and Katherine, along with long- time friend, Jane Herships and best friend since childhood, Maia Ibar, to become members of TEEN.

TEEN spent the summer of 2011 recording In Limbo in Maia's family barn in rural Connecticut, engineered by Jen Turner of Here We Go Magic.

In Limbo was mixed and produced in collaboration with producer Pete Kember (Spacemen 3 / Spectrum). Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom, first heard the band via an early video while he was mixing Panda Bear's Tomboy at Blanker Unsinn studio in Brooklyn, and after hearing some demos, signed up to produce a full LP of their material as soon as possible.

The band decided their best move was to record the LP in the back country atmosphere of Connecticut, with the recording and initial mixes starting there. Further work was done at MGMT's Blanker Unsinn facility with the final mixing and mastering taking place in the UK at Sonic Boom's New Atlantis Studio.

TEEN's sound relies heavily on its vocal arrangements and harmonies. The music is strengthened by the flawless vocal connections between family and friends. The songs on the album are a reflection of change and loss – loss of loved ones, loss of relationships and sitting in the space of the unknown – in limbo. They reflect on how times such as these can give birth to powerful creative moments, and also solidify bonds in relationships between friends and family. The songs are mysterious and dark, exploring the many sensitivities and emotions that a person endures during these critical and life-changing experiences.

The band have played consistently since Winter 2010, including performances with Purity Ring, War on Drugs and Yellow Ostrich and most recently, Ariel Pink, Santigold, Frankie Rose, Dean Wareheim and Hospitality.


Icewater started as a largely acoustic country 3 piece in fall 2010 before adding drummer noah hecht in the summer of 2011, evolving into an electric band and interweaving elements of psychedelia and garage rock. the band plays all over new york and toured across the country in the spring of 2012. icewater's latest offering is a 3 song package titled "wade in the water". the song "goldmine" was recorded and produced by friend and inspiration to the band, philadelphia's lux perpetua. the other 2 tracks, "fabric" and "my land", were recorded and mixed by icewater and mastered by new friend zeljko mcmullen.


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