Watch Eleanor Friedberger’s Dreamy “When I Knew” Video

Two albums into Eleanor Friedberger’s solo career, it’s no longer a question as to whether or not she can hold her own after breaking off from her brother Matthew and their experimental duo the Fiery Furnaces. Her storytelling skills are as sharp as ever, her keenly detailed lyrics now set to full-bodied, efficiently-produced guitar pop.

"When I Knew" is a jaunty cut from Personal Record, released earlier this year. In the Ryan Junell-directed clip, Friedberger is on her own but never alone, whether she’s communing with nature, relaxing at her kitchen table, or having a one-woman party in her basement. Like her songs, everything’s a little more colorful than you might expect. Personal Record is out now on Merge.
 

Fiery Furnaces Readying Ten Albums, Two Heart Attacks

Get ready to self-consciously question your productivity! Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the male half of the Fiery Furnaces, Matthew Friedberger, joked that being in a critically acclaimed indie-rock band just wasn’t enough work. “Playing rock—except for driving around and carrying equipment in and out of a van and getting bedbugs from the motel and that kind of thing—you don’t have to work very hard,” Friedberger told EW. “So I thought it would be fun to have way too many things to do.”

All told, he’ll release “no less than eight solo albums” in 2011, starting with an epic six-part vinyl-only project called Solos, each part of which will find him pairing his voice with a single instrument: piano, guitar, organ, double bass, drums, or harp. The piano-based album, Napoleonette, was recorded in Michigan last month, and you can listen to the track “Shirley” on Thrill Jockey’s website. Additionally, Friedberger will score artist Rob Pruitt’s art awards at Webster Hall. The second annual event, which he also scored last year, is a unique opportunity for him. “It’s fun because I get to write two hours of music,” he tells EW. “From my perspective, it’s supposed to refer, if only obliquely, to the old history of Webster Hall, up to and including when it was the Ritz in the ’80s.”

Meanwhile, Matthew’s sister, Eleanor Friedberger, is working on a solo album of her own for 2011. Not many details are known about that project currently.

As if this weren’t enough, the Friedberger siblings will convene to record a new Fiery Furnaces record shortly after Thanksgiving. It might be called I Met the Queen of the Night in the Daytime, which would be a pretty fantastic – and frankly fitting – title for a Fiery Furnaces album. “It’s going to be a loud, aggressive rock record,” Matthew says of the album. “The songs are rock songs. They’re pretty wordy, I guess. They definitely have melodies, though. They’re songs with words and tunes.” Of course, this only adds up to nine albums, which begs the question: What are the Friedbergers hiding?