Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

On LA-based singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell's website is a ticker with a scrolling message that says "People fall in love listening to Eleni Mandell".

It's definitely very easy to fall in lust listening to Mandell – she has one of the sexiest voices this side of Chan Marshall or Rachael Yamagata. It's slow, sultry and drawn out, seducing listeners with each line.

Mandell, who just released her seventh album, Artificial Fire, this year was called "perhaps the best unsigned artist in the business" by The New Yorker back in 2001. Today, that still probably remains true. A story in Slate from 2007 described her label situation as:

Mandell used her own money to record and press her first CD, Wishbone, in 1998, a few years after finishing college. A fan in Toronto had the financial wherewithal to start what is essentially a one-artist label, Zedtone, which puts up money to record and helps with tour support and distribution. Since Wishbone, she's toured extensively in the United States and even Europe—generally losing money but hoping to build an audience. The film and TV licenses, record sales, and a publishing deal with Chrysalis (which has since lapsed) added up to enough to at least allow her to quit waitressing a year and a half ago.

Her songs can be all over the map, some are jazzy, other have a larger rock or country influence but it's interesting to hear her work within different genres. My favorite from Artificial Fire so far is the lounge-pop title-track, which is funky and hypnotic.

She plays at the Triple Door tonight, which is a perfect venue for her, with crystal-clear acoustics and the intimate, romantic confines. Shows at 7:30, $16, all ages.

Here's the video for "Artificial Fire":

What are you Sunday evening plans?

  • Iji/Bad Weather California/Johanna Kunin, Sunset Tavern {late} !
  • Loving Thunder/Murder Dice/Weirdlords/The Onono's, Neumo's
  • Fun Fun Fun/Mighty Tiger/Mike Lengel/Foma, High Dive
  • Eleni Mandell/Kelli Rudick, Triple Door*
  • Cute Is What We Aim For/Meg & Dia/Breathe Carolina/Every Avenue/Anarbor, El Corazon*
  • Laura Kelley-Jahn/Digital Vintage/The Knox Family, Nectar
  • The Keeper/King Of The Wing People/Chris Mess, Sunset Tavern {4pm}
  • Herman Dune/Jack Lewis/Angelo Spencer, Tractor
  • The Valkyries/The Gibbs/Top Critters/Elder Mason, Comet