April 18, 2007

Worth the wait . . .

On bill with Great Lake Swimmers, tour will cover major cities in East Coast, South, Texas and West Coast

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Fueled by rave reviews in the U.S. for her new album, Miracle of Five, and a successful European tour during which The Times of London proclaimed her possessed of “a voice that should be heard by millions,” Eleni Mandell will finally tour North America in May and June. The dates begin in May with several headlining shows, followed by a June tour supporting Nettwerk recording artists Great Lake Swimmers. Mandell and the Swimmers begin their tour on June 5th in Boston, with stops in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, Seattle and many other fine cities along the way (see below). Stay tuned as dates continue to be confirmed.

Mandell has recently returned from her month-long Europe tour, during which she played Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and the U.K.

In the meantime, Miracle of Five has become her fastest-selling album to date, and her best-selling in Canada and parts of Europe. It has also received the best press accolades of her career to date. The Los Angeles Times, for instance, said that the album’s “mix of emotional heart and musical command marks a move into the major leagues of American singer/songwriters.” Bust magazine wrote that the album “solidifies (her) place on the pedestal of indie goddesses like PJ Harvey and Nico.” Elle described it as “an album of bluesy, sepia-tone postcard sent to possibilities come and gone.” Pitchfork called it “wry and knowing.” Entertainment Weekly pronounced Miracle “a perfect bedtime album for grownups who ought to know better but can’t help hitting the sack dreaming of true love.” And the North Bay Bohemian in Northern California risked jumping the gun, deeming it “one of 2007’s best releases.”

In addition, Mandell has even become a New York Times crossword puzzle clue (“singer-songwriter _____ Mandell”). And her songs have recently been used on television series “Brothers & Sisters” and “Men in Trees” as well as Fashion TV.

Mandell’s spring U.S. tour dates will be full-band performances, featuring longtime drummer Kevin Fitzgerald and bassist Ryan Feves, plus guitarist Jeremy Drake.

Eleni Mandell North American Tour Dates – May/June 2007:

Fri. 5/4 MALIBU, CA Malibu Performing Arts Center *
Wed. 5/9 TORONTO, ONT The Mod Club
Thu. 5/31 KANSAS CITY, MO Davey’s Uptown
Fri. 6/1 MINNEAPOLIS, MN 7th Street Entry
Sun. 6/3 CHICAGO, IL Schubas

with Great Lake Swimmers:

Tue. 6/5 BOSTON, MA Middle East Upstairs
Wed. 6/6 NEW YORK, NY Joe’s Pub (Eleni and GLS play separate shows)
Thu. 6/7 ARLINGTON, VA Iota
Fri. 6/8 PHILADELPHIA, PA Tin Angel
Sat. 6/9 PITTSBURGH, PA Garfield Artworks
Sun. 6/10 CHAPEL HILL, NC Local 506
Mon. 6/11 CHARLESTON, SC The Map Room
Tue. 6/12 ATLANTA, GA The 5 Spot
Wed. 6/13 BIRMINGHAM, AL Bottletree Café
Fri. 6/15 HOUSTON, TX Walter’s on Washington
Sat. 6/16 AUSTIN, TX Emo’s Lounge (Inside)
Sun. 6/17 DALLAS, TX Bend Studio
Wed. 6/20 LOS ANGELES, CA Hotel Café
Thu. 6/21 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Café Du Nord
Sat. 6/23 SEATTLE, WA Tractor Tavern

* with Erin McKeown and Melissa Ferrick

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October 23, 2006


Musicians include Nels Cline (Wilco), DJ Bonebrake (X), and longtime players Kevin Fitzgerald, Ryan Feves and Jeff Turmes; Andy Kaulkin produced; Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith) mixed

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – From her first album, 1999’s Jon Brion-produced Wishbone, to her fifth, 2004’s Afternoon (upon which Los Angeles magazine named her “best local singer”), L.A.-based singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell has been feeling the love from critics and her fellow musicians, who have offered their respective kudos. Impressive to be sure, but her career to this point has been a tantalizing extended buildup to her new longplayer, Miracle of Five, due out February 6 on Zedtone Records, which is at once the quintessence and culmination of her body of work to date.

>From the hushed, intimate “Moonglow, Lamp Low” to the closing elegiac ballad “Miss Me,” the richly nuanced album maintains its mood and subtle momentum, creating a world of its own. It is without question Mandell’s most coherent album, and her most eloquent, optimistic and beautiful as well.

In order to optimize this crucial undertaking, Mandell assembled a group of talented and supportive players, including Wilco lead guitarist Nels Cline, X drummer DJ Bonebrake (who plays vibes here), her longtime rhythm section of drummer Kevin Fitzgerald and bassist Ryan Feves, reed player Jeff Turmes (James Harman, Badly Drawn Boy) and keyboardist Andy Kaulkin (Merle Haggard, R.L. Burnside), who also produced. Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith) did the mixing.

Mandell’s singing on the new album is a revelation; never has her conversational alto sounded more present, or more real. Part of it is due to the unorthodox way her vocals were recorded. The idea came to Kaulkin when he went over to Mandell’s house to hear her new material. “Because she was just relaxing in her living room, singing the songs with an acoustic guitar, rather than trying to belt them out over her band, she sounded great,” he says. “I was really blown away, and I felt like she was on to something. I wish I could take credit for it, but she really found her voice. It seems gentle, but it gets under your skin. She’s got so much character and personality in what she does, and I don’t think that always came across in the past.”

Determined to get the absolute optimum vocal performances out of his charge, Kaulkin started with Mandell’s vocals and nylon-string guitar, recorded solo on the basic tracks; the other musicians would overdub their parts afterward, reacting to her finished vocals. “Recording all the songs by myself did really make a difference,” Mandell confirms. “Andy was a little bit hard on me when he felt I wasn’t quite getting it, but it was great working with him, just knowing he was really paying attention.”

The songs on the new album begin with real-life experiences and blossom into multi-dimensional expressions of the human condition, all of it captured in the caressing yet charged sound of Mandell’s voice. So if you think you know Eleni Mandell, think again. Miracle of Five puts her in a new light, and on a new level of artistic achievement. Hearing her new album is like hearing this captivating artist for the very first time.

The album will be released on V2 Records for the world excluding North America.

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September 28, 2005


Band features Eleni Mandell, Nigel Harrison, Steven Gregoropolous and Elvira Gonzalez

LOS ANGELES — The Grabs have completed their debut album, Sex, Fashion & Money, which will hit the streets on November 8. The band is a side project for its members: indie singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell, guitarist Steven Gregoropolous (Wild Stares, W.A.C.O., Lavender Diamond), bassist Nigel Harrison (Blondie) and drummer Elvira Gonzalez — even an audio sample from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. Mandell calls the quartet “the side-project rock band of my childhood dreams.”
The album was produced and recorded in six days by Sheldon Gomberg (Warren Zevon, Beck, Ryan Adams) at his Los Angeles-based studio. Burnside Distribution will distribute the CD.
The Grabs came about as a result of Eleni and Steven discussing a band that would be poppy, fun and light-hearted and would sound great in the summer — not necessarily the words one would use to describe Eleni’s body of somewhat darker critically acclaimed recordings. Eleni exclaimed, “Let’s write really catchy, fun post-punk pop songs.” “That’s too easy,” responded Steve.

Although the two had never previously co-written a song with anybody, they wrote an album’s worth of songs in no time, then recruited founding Blondie member and veteran A&R nabob Nigel Harrison. Eleni asked Nigel if he could play on a new project she was working on. He agreed immediately but thought it would be a song or two, not 13 songs. Still, he dove in and called Eleni “the best singer and songwriter I’ve ever known since Deborah Harry.”

The Grabs also enlisted itinerant drummer Elvira Gonzalez (Silversun Pickups), who the band says “provides the cute factor and general salability.”

Everyone immediately agreed to be involved in the project after the few months between tours when Steve and Eleni quickly co-authored the songs.

Presently, Eleni Mandell is at work on her own album, very different from the Grabs project, which will be released in spring of 2006.

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June 9, 2005


SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Fresh on the heels of the controversy surrounding Carl’s Jr.’s latest television ad campaign featuring a soaped-up scantily-clad Paris Hilton, Santa Monica-based independent record label HUM Recordings, a division of HUM Music, today announced plans to release a full-length version of Cole Porter’s classic “I Love Paris” as sung by indie rocker Eleni Mandell. The song will be available on Wednesday, June 6 exclusively on iTunes.

The new version of the song, sung by Mandell and arranged by HUM’s Rob Lopez, has generated significant buzz among consumers. The response has been so overwhelming that the song has taken on a life of its own, prompting HUM Recordings to draft plans for an immediate commercial release.

Eleni Mandell has released five indie albums (all available on CD and via iTunes) and is presently working on her sixth. The LA Weekly voted her “Best Singer/Songwriter” (tied with Elliott Smith) in 2003. The New Yorker noted: “This Los Angeles favorite was weaned on artists like Tom Waits and X, and she favors dark and sexy songs. Her latest album, Afternoon, is full of lovelorn narratives that she delivers with a soft-focus voice.” Mandell took time off from working on her next album to record the vocals for the Carl’s Jr. spot.

According to Mandell, “I’m very excited that they liked what I did. I’m shocked that the commercial has gotten so much recognition and become so controversial. Bottom line is that it’s a good commercial. The fact that people are responding to the music is a wonderful surprise. This is very different from the music I make on my own, but it was a fun challenge. And everybody at HUM was great to work with.”

“I also think it's apropos that I'm singing a Cole Porter song. I've been very influenced by jazz standards and getting to sing one today and having it become a single on rock radio is really fantastic. But it’s even more exciting that the song broke on television – a real alternative to radio these days,” she added.

The debut of the “I Love Paris” full-length single is the second commercially available release by HUM Recordings.

Previous HUM Recordings include the acclaimed Golden Slumbers compilation project featuring industry greats such as Smokey Robinson, Phil Collins, Dave Matthews, and Michael McDonald to name a few. Prior to these releases, HUM has had repeated success with their branding strategy of offering clients full-length versions of their distinctive commercial music as a value-added source of promotion, working with such distinguished companies as Toyota, MSN, Pepsi, and iTunes.

About HUM (
HUM Music offers the most diverse set of services in the branding business. Their multi-talented staff delivers music research and licensing, original music by resident composers or music industry artists, sound design, sonic identification, and music branding. HUM is a creative sound and music force that is and has been changing the way brands and sounds make harmonies (and commercials) together. HUM, the Santa Monica, Calif. based idea factory, has been using their outside the spot approach to find their way into televisions, homes, and heads for quite some time and more than high-powered agencies are beginning to take power brands such as Honda, Pepsi, Anheuser Busch, HP, and BMW have all chosen to forgo the buzz for the HUM.

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August 4, 2004



Dedicates “American Boy” Song to John Kerry; Fifth Full-Length CD also Licensed to Trocadero Records in Germany

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Eleni Mandell, whose fifth full-length album Afternoon has shipped on the indie Zedtone label, is setting sights on fall tour residencies in the East Coast and the South to help bring awareness of her new album. For the Southern residency, Eleni will be based in Atlanta with stops in Nashville, Athens, New Orleans and more. Dates and details will be announced shortly.

In addition, Eleni has dedicated the world-weary love song “American Boy,” the lead track from the Afternoon album, to Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry. As she continues to tour to promote the album, she will spread her beliefs during what she considers the most important election year. While Republicans continue to attend her shows in some very important swing states, Eleni is doing her part by not shying away from expressing an opinion and encouraging everyone to vote...for John Kerry.

Rolling recently wrote of Eleni: “With a sultry smokes-and-booze voice and a delivery that's ‘can’t be bothered’ one minute and ‘pinch me if I'm dreaming’ the next, Eleni Mandell is hopeful and derisive, dramatic and playful, a Holly Golightly if she'd been written by Raymond Chandler. On her fifth album, the Los Angeles-based torch singer lowers her silk stockings just enough to show some vulnerability and also lets a few country tinges burn away some of the mist.”

The Washington Post picked up on Eleni’s sexuality-for-adults appeal: “With alt-rock's favorite sexpot, Liz Phair, making goo-goo eyes at Avril Lavigne's fan base these days, the music biz is in dire need of a sultry chanteuse for adults. Norah Jones is way too wholesome for the job, and while Lucinda Williams is a contender, the alt-country queenpin's erratic, honey-I'm-not-in-the-mood approach to making records can leave fans feeling like spurned lovers pining for just one more passionate kiss.”

With press as passionate as this, it’s no wonder that international territories are vying for Eleni’s licensing. She has recently pacted with Trocadero Records who will issue Afternoon in Germany.

On Afternoon, Eleni Mandell builds on the promise of her earlier work and delivers her most confident and accessible collection of songs yet. Accompanied by her tight touring band featuring Joshua Grange (guitars), Ryan Feves (bass) and Kevin Fitzgerald (drums), she glides comfortably from acoustic ballads and pure country to hard rockers and sultry blues. Eleni's magic is that she makes every style her own. Recently feted as the “Best Songwriter” in Los Angeles by LA Weekly (an honor shared with the late Elliott Smith), Eleni celebrates women who can dish out heartache as well as they can take it.

After one listen, everyone will want to be Eleni Mandell's afternoon.

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