First known as half of the kaleidoscopic brother-sister duo the Fiery Furnaces during the 2000s, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eleanor Friedberger established herself as a witty and sensitive solo artist once that band went on hiatus in 2011.
Her own albums were nearly as eclectic as the Furnaces', ranging from the classic rock and folk-inspired warmth of 2011's Last Summer and 2016's New View to the goth-pop homages of 2018's Rebound.
Friedberger grew up in a musically inclined family in Oak Park, Illinois: her grandmother was a musician and choir director at a Greek Orthodox church; her mother played piano and guitar and sang; and throughout school, her brother Matthew played standup bass. Meanwhile, Friedberger's taste in music spanned classic rockers such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin as well as '90s indie luminaries like Pavement, Royal Trux, and Guided by Voices. Following her graduation from the University of Texas in Austin and a year she spent in England, Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger formed the Fiery Furnaces, who released eight albums -- including 2004's breakthrough Blueberry Boat -- in as many years.
The Fiery Furnaces went on hiatus in 2011, the same year Friedberger released her Merge Records debut album, Last Summer, which featured a playful but more straightforward sound than her band's work. For 2013's Personal Record, she crafted a set of songs that paid homage to the introspective pop of the '70s. She returned late in 2015 with the single "False Alphabet City," a companion piece to visual artist Sara Magenheimer's film False Alphabets that was also Friedberger's Frenchkiss Records debut. Her third full-length, New View, was recorded with her backing band Icewater following a move to upstate New York. It arrived in January 2016. After touring for most of that year, Friedberger spent some time in Greece exploring her heritage and the local music scene. A late-night Greek goth nightclub, as well as the writing of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, inspired the literate electronic pop of 2018's Rebound. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi