Critically acclaimed Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell, who has “created an impressive body of work over the last decade” (Los Angeles Times) and whose “lyrics are lucid, exploring the elusive promise of romance with wit and moony wistfulness” (Entertainment Weekly), has released her 10th studio album, Dark Lights Up, on Yep Roc Records.
Following a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame while on tour with her two young children, Mandell was inspired by and reflected on her classic country influence. After listening to Roger Miller, who her kids fell in love with, she “was really struck by how simple his production was, and how central his voice and how open the sound was on the record. It was really organic. There aren’t a lot of layers, and the melody and his voice and the words were more beautiful for it. It made me want to de-clutter and strip away and make something simple that still sounded full and beautiful.”
With that sound in mind and at the production helm of her 10th album, Mandell entered longtime collaborator and co-producer Sheldon Gomberg’s Silver Lake studio to distill her songs down to their purest core, assembling all of the musicians together in a single room with only acoustic instruments. Cut live in just four days, the album features Mandell on vocals and acoustic guitar, Jake Blanton (acoustic guitar), Ryan Feves (upright bass), Nate Walcott (piano, trumpet, flugelhorn), and Mike Green (drums, tambourine).
“Known for her captivating, intelligent songwriter and smoky, sultry vocals,” (Glide Magazine), Mandell’s eclectic catalog spans “from skeletal, Tom Waits-ish blues-rock to whiskey-soaked alt-country to twinkling folk-pop” (LA Weekly).
Her debut Wishbone was released in 1999, followed by Thrill (2000/Zedtone), Snakebite(2001/Zedtone), Country for True Lovers (2003/Zedtone), Afternoon (2004/Zedtone), Miracle of Five (2007/Zedtone), Artificial Fire (2009/Zedtone), I Can See The Future(2012/Yep Roc), and Let’s Fly A Kite (2014/Yep Roc). She’s also a member of the indie folk supergroup The Living Sisters with Inara George and Becky Stark, who have released two albums.