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Hotter than a Furnace fan

| July 19, 2011

Why just the other month we were telling you about a Fiery Furnaces show. How they’re all so Oak Park – specifically Oak Park. When they’re of Illinois at all. Those words cut Eleanor Friedberger to the bone. And so she’s back to make amends.

If you caught that Furnaces show or even took on their latest release, 2009’s Take Me Round Again (Thrill Jockey), you know the brother/sister duo felt compelled to express themselves individually, each approaching the same group of songs and recording them in their own idiom. (You might remember Shania Twain pioneering this land.) The sessions shook Eleanor to her very core, convincing her that more recording sessions without Matt must commence immediately. After persuading her family to agree, she went and recorded Last Summer, but had to do so on Merge Records (proper shelter for asylum-seeking indie stars like Lou Barlow, Dan Bejar, Conor Oberst, and Tracey Thorn).

Fittingly, Last Summer resumes the left-coast, breezy Edith Frost vibe of Take Me, though it’s disappointingly free of fratricidal fantasies or any manner of confused, Sophoclesian/Shakespearian/Freudian turmoil. It even has some party funk, which requires the same level of compositional sophistication as her brother’s work, it’s just way more fun. (Wednesday@Hideout.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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