Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 11:11 am | Overcast 67º


Jeff Moehlis: Indie Pop Singer Eleanor Friedberger Brings the Heat for Saturday Concert

​​Eleanor Friedberger has two solo albums to her name and is on track to launch a third one.
​​Eleanor Friedberger has two solo albums to her name and is on track to launch a third one. (eleanorfriedberger.com photo)

​​Eleanor Friedberger first made her mark singing in the quirky, eclectic indie rock band The Fiery Furnaces, a duo with her older brother, Matthew, formed in 2000. After seven always-interesting albums that explored a variety of musical styles and ideas, The Fiery Furnaces went on hiatus in 2011.

Since then, Friedberger has released two solo albums with clever, thoughtful lyrics and a wonderful indie pop sound. Another solo album is in the works, and we’ll have a chance to hear some of her old and new songs when she performs Saturday in Santa Barbara.

Friedberger talked to Noozhawk about the upcoming show. Click here for the full interview.

                                                                        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: Have you ever performed in Santa Barbara before, either solo or with The Fiery Furnaces?

Eleanor Friedberger: Nope, never. So I’m excited for this show. I’ve been to Santa Barbara once. I wish I could remember the name of the venue, but I was with my friend, Britt Daniel, who is in the band Spoon. I was traveling with him — he did a solo tour down the West Coast in January 2000. He had a show booked in Santa Barbara, and I remember showing up with him, and the promoter had screwed up or something but there wasn’​t anybody there, and it was a restaurant or something so he was just like, “F*** this” and left.

That’s the only time I’ve ever been to Santa Barbara. I’m hoping that that’s not going to happen to us. Yeah, I look forward to it. I’m excited to play in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, San Diego — places that I don’t normally get to play.

JM: What can we look forward to at the upcoming show?

EF: I don’t know if this is something that people find annoying or fun, but the purpose for being out on the West Coast for a couple of months is to work on new songs for my next record. I’ve been practicing with my bandmates five days a week in Los Angeles, and we’re learning a lot of new stuff.

So we’re going to try out a bunch of new songs at the show. And if they work out, they’ll be on the next record. So that’s the idea. I mean, I’m going to play music from both of my solo records, but we’re trying to figure out if these songs work. I’m curious to see people’s reactions and that kind of thing.

It’s exciting to do the traditional route, which I’ve never done. I have some songs and we’re working on them together and fleshing them out, and arranging them. And then these guys are actually going to record the record with me, and then we’ll tour on those songs. I know that’s what most bands do, but I’ve never actually done it that way.

JM: I know that your last record was at least partially recorded in L.A., and you don’t live here generally. What are your impressions of this part of the world?

EF: Oh, my gosh. As a Midwesterner from Chicago, Southern California — all of California — is incredibly exotic. It still is. I don’t understand how people live here all the time because I just feel like I’m on vacation. Every day we’ve been coming out of this rehearsal space, which is windowless, and we go outside for 10 minutes, and I never stop saying, “It’s so nice out!”

And watching the news and seeing pictures back home in New York ... I would like to do this the rest of my life — spend the winter in California. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that.

I love it. Driving is a pain, but even that you kind of get into your rhythm of what you’re doing and what you’re thinking about in the car. And I’m kind of a sucker for the sun. It definitely enhances my mood. I’m one of those people. I love it.

It’s cliche, but the light and all the trees and the plants here — I’m just a sucker for all of it. I love it. You know, I’m looking at cypress trees right now. It’s crazy.

                                                                        •        •

Friedberger will perform at an early all-ages show at 6 p.m. Saturday at Velvet Jones, 423 State St. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Click here for the full interview with Eleanor Friedberger.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, music-illuminati.com. The opinions expressed are his own.

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