The Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger will release her second solo album, Personal Record, on June 10, 2013 in the UK and Europe on Merge Records. Personal Record is the follow-up to Friedberger's critically acclaimed solo debut, Last Summer.
The first track off the record, "Stare at the Sun," is now available for download at http://www.eleanorfriedberger.com/ Personal Record is also available now for pre-order on iTunes in the US and the UK.
Track listing and more details about the album from Eleanor are below.
Personal Record track listing:
1. I Don't Want to Bother You
2. When I Knew
3. I'll Never Be Happy Again
4. Stare at the Sun
5. Echo or Encore
6. My Own World
7. Tomorrow Tomorrow
8. You'll Never Know Me
9. I Am the Past
10. She's a Mirror
11. Other Boys
12. Singing Time
Personal Record is my second solo album, recorded in October 2012, in New York and Los Angeles. I wrote the songs with the musician and novelist Wesley Stace in the spring and summer of 2011, just before Last Summer was released. He and I met at a Bob Dylan tribute concert, where we both sang songs from The Basement Tapes. (At least I did; I can't remember what he sang.) We began trading music. He introduced me to Duncan Browne, Alan Hull, Al Stewart, Patto and Ollie Halsall; I sent him some crackly reggae covers, Jonathan King singing "Wuthering Heights," Donovan, Richard Davies, and some obscure Fiery Furnaces tracks. MP3s turned into our own music, emails turned into lyrics, and suddenly we were writing new songs. Ideas came from odd places: films we both liked, memories we didn't even share, old poems. We were writing songs faster than I could say, "Who the hell is this guy?"
After finishing Last Summer, I found myself performing on my own, in intimate situations at record stores and radio sessions, playing acoustic guitar and singing a set of songs that hadn't necessarily been written for guitar. Despite never having done it before, this seemed like the easiest way to present those songs, and the most interesting way to write new songs. I've always tried to make each record in a new way; now I had one right in front of me. The new songs presented themselves as love songs, and that seemed perfect for the intimacy with which I wanted to play them. And they are love songs-hellos and goodbyes, infatuation, preoccupation, loss-but not simply about romantic love.
They're also love songs to music: how you feel on stage when you do something spontaneous and it works, how you feel when you hear someone sing a song for the first time, what it's like to watch a friend perform, how you can feel close to someone you barely know because you both happen to love the same record, or playing the same song forty times in a row, not being able to rest until you own every song recorded by your favorite singer, or every version of your favorite song. Music and musicians appear over and over again on the album: Sparks, a Duncan Browne A and B side, The Incredible String Band, Soft Machine, the various singers on the various stages in the lyrics. Imagine love embodied by pure sound, as described in "Echo or Encore": that's what I wanted these songs to be about, and how I wanted them to sound.
So how personal is Personal Record? Very, but unlike Last Summer, which was more a record of my life told in a stream-of-consciousness style, these lyrics are more inclusive, written for an intimate setting with direct communication in mind: singer, acoustic guitar, audience. And appropriately, the album was recorded live, for the most part. If not live, then quickly and spontaneously played. While touring in support of Last Summer with my new band, I started playing nearly half the songs on Personal Record, including "When I Knew," "I'll Never Be Happy Again," and "Stare at the Sun." And I was lucky to get John Eatherly (guitar) and Matt Asti (bass) to record what they'd been playing live for the better part of a year: a natural progression for most bands, but new to me. I'd always learned songs after they were recorded, and changed them to play live. It was incredibly satisfying to play "I Don't Want to Bother You" right and get to keep it forever (or in "amber," like in "Stare at the Sun"). The album also features Jim Orso (drums) and Morgan Wiley (keys), who both played on Last Summer, and Abe Seiferth (guitar) and Robbie Lee (woodwinds). The album was produced and recorded by Eric Broucek in New York at DFA Studios and at his home studio in Los Angeles.