Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Albums of the Year # 28 Eleanor Friedberger - Rebound

From May:

And so to Rebound, just out, but already a part of the furniture of my flat. She's still quirky, I imagine she always will be but she's utterly comfortable in her own skin and I think it's one of the best records she's made either alone or as a Furnace.

Whereas Fiery Furnaces often seemed to shift gear and direction almost wilfully to put their audience off their trail, the songs on Rebound maintain a steady course, not necessarily following a conventional verse/ chorus trajectory, (it's hardly Friedberger's way), but absolutely maintaining a happy internal logic.

The songs that were released ahead of the album are already ingrained in me and the rest of the record seems destined to follow course. Inspired by time spent in Athens where she went to escape from having to be in the States for the Trump inauguration, it's a synthy Eighties sounding record, in contrast to 2016's New View which sounded almost Laurel Canyon with its full and rich guitar sound.

Rebound is almost deliberately synthetic by comparison but this doesn't stop its songs being instantly immediate and winning. They're very much of a piece, it feels like Friedberger's ironing out her kinks and establishing a middle aged assurance and calm. She's commented that she's like to gain a broader commercial appeal than she's garnered previously and though that may be hard to realise, she's certainly hitting her artistic stride. Rebound is a triumphant album that lays down a marker for Courtney Barnett, my other personal favourite artist of this ilk to respond to with her own record, later this month.

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