THE GRADE B
BOTTOM LINE Gentle indie-folk from a one-time Fiery Furnace
Just as Eleanor Friedberger and her band Fiery Furnaces seemed to symbolize the rise of a Brooklyn indie-rock aesthetic, her latest solo album “New View” (Frenchkiss) seems to herald the end of its heyday.
Friedberger felt priced out by ever-escalating Brooklyn rents and wanted some space when she decided to move upstate to the Hudson Valley. And “New View” certainly reflects her new surroundings, as the jangling, Neil Young-styled guitars and laid-back organ sounds that dominate much of the album call to mind a much more bucolic world. “A Long Walk” shows off this style impressively, with her vocals sounding even more stately than usual, making the song sound like Alison Moyet fronting The Band.
That doesn’t mean Friedberger has lost her edge though, as the cool single “Sweetest Girl” stylishly shows. In the pushy “Because I Asked You,” she demands, “Why would you want to take it slow? Hold me till I let you go? Or treat me like a tennis pro?” over a loping, bluesy organ groove.
It’s a cool combination that Friedberger should hang onto. After all, Brooklyn doesn’t leave your system that quickly.