Eleanor Friedberger – Rebound

When it comes to neatly capturing knotty feelings and subtle changes of mood, on Rebound Eleanor Friedberger remains one of indie rock’s masters

Album Review by Chris Ogden | 01 May 2018
  • Eleanor Friedberger
Album title: Rebound
Artist: Eleanor Friedberger
Label: Frenchkiss Records
Release date: 4 May

Eleanor Friedberger’s solo career rumbles satisfyingly on. Inspired by the time Friedberger spent in Greece in late 2016, taking the name of a new wave nightclub she visited in Athens, that's where the former Fiery Furnaces frontwoman’s fourth solo record Rebound takes its smoky inspiration.

Unlike her previous record, 2016’s warm New View, Friedberger recorded Rebound without her live band, swathing it in chilly synths, drum machines and muted guitars. Long-time fans of Friedberger need not be worried though, as her quirky songwriting is still very much on show, particularly in the billowing Everything, In Between Stars’ playful bounce and the bluesy chug of Make Me a Song.

While Friedberger’s songs have always been growers, Rebound’s sonic consistency and plodding tempo place even more emphasis on its understated pleasures, like the dreamily distracted guitar solo of Nice to Be Nowhere, or the kooky keyboard arpeggios of Are We Good? Even a more propulsive track like Showy Early Spring wrong-foots the listener with an abrupt ending. Just when you feel like Rebound needs a bit more pep, Friedberger lets you know that she is in full control.

More notable for its meditative atmosphere than blockbuster tracks, Rebound isn’t the sort of record that will blow anyone away, but that’s never been Friedberger’s MO. When it comes to neatly capturing knotty feelings and subtle changes of mood, she remains one of indie rock’s masters.

Listen to: Everything, Make Me a Song, Nice to Be Nowhere