Published Jan 20, 2016One of the few positives of the untimely demise (or semi-permanent hiatus) of the Fiery Furnaces has been the emergence of Eleanor Friedberger as a gifted solo artist. Her two previous solo offerings (2011's Last Summer and 2013's Personal Record) made a strong case for Eleanor as the go-to Friedberger sibling for post-Furnaces pop-rock. Her latest record, New View, is another step forward, and sees Friedberger emerging further from the lengthy shadow cast by her former band.
New View was apparently recorded after Friedberger relocated from her longtime home in Brooklyn to upstate New York, and there's a pervasive feeling of wistfulness and melancholy throughout; this is a grown-up record, make no mistake, one that further sands down any Furnaces-esque experimental edges that may have lingered on her first two records (particularly on Last Summer). What we're left with is basically a classic songwriter album. The songwriting has a timeless quality, the lyrics are at turns clever, heartfelt and earnest, and the whole thing is anchored by Friedberger's distinctive alto, which has only become more interesting with age. Immediate attention-grabbers include the first singles "He Didn't Mention His Mother" and "Sweetest Girl," but really, there is not a misstep to be found in the 11-song bunch.
Press materials for the record cite ubiquitous influences like Neil Young, George Harrison and Van Morrison, and while in most cases that might be cause for concern, New View is a lush and beautiful record that stands comfortably in such heady company. (Frenchkiss)