Friday, September 2, 2016
A Different View
Before appearing at this weekend’s End of the Road festival, former Fiery Furnaces frontwoman Eleanor Friedberger played a Music’s Not Dead promoted gig in the café bar at the De La Warr Pavilion last night. Over from the United States to promote her third solo album, this year’s New View, most of the set was drawn from this critically acclaimed album.
Recorded in upstate New York, New View is ostensibly a slice of 70s singer-songwriter soft-rock; however, it is an LP shot-through with strong melodies and infectious pop hooks, and this was particularly demonstrated last night on songs such as Because I Asked You and He Didn’t Mention His Mother. But what I really like about Friedberger – apart from her cool shoes and incredible voice - is her uncluttered guitar playing which gives the music a lo-fi slacker edge that makes it different from standard folk and Americana.
Despite being supported on tour by only two of the musicians who recorded the album, they are a comfortable and accomplished trio; at times songs effortlessly segued into each other and, for the uninitiated, it would have been hard to tell where one began and the other ended. The personal lyrics are mostly dense, past tense narratives and, on stand-out song Sweetest Girl – “sweet girl with a broken heart, stop crying so I won’t start” – heart-breaking.
There was also a version of the Fiery Furnaces’ Evergreen and, on the theme of colour, Does Turquoise Work? from the new album was put to the audience for their opinion (personally I thought no, but it was a split decision). Friedberger recommended the video for the latter song, a piece of animation by bassist Jonathan Rosen, and I do too. You can watch it here.