Eleanor Friedberger is a genuine indie-rock star. Growing up just outside of Chicago in Oak Park, her love of music was nurtured at an early age. She started singing with her grandmother in church, so it was natural for her to be a singer-songwriter. After building an audience with her older brother Matthew Friedberger in Fiery Furnances, she struck out on her own with her first solo album, Last Summer and the infectious single, “My Mistakes,” in 2011. Now she tells Miss A Chicago about her return with her latest, Personal Record.
Q: How is this album different from your last one?
A: This album was recorded live with a band instead of with just a producer. I was working on this album for a year and a half and it was just a collaboration with musicians.
Q: You said in a Pitchfork interview that you felt disappointed by the sales of your last album. Do you feel pressure for this album to be more commercially successful?
A: That was taken out of context. Yes, you want to do better each time you release an album, but I don’t feel any pressure.
Q: The album has such a modern sound, but has classic rock influences? Was that intentional?
A: I was influenced by oldies radio. Growing up, I listened to oldies, like La Bamba! (Laughs). I don’t know any electronic music. Guitar music has always been popular to me!
Q: What are your favorite places to visit when you’re back in Chicago?
A: I love the Empty Bottle, Schubas, the Aragon [ Ballroom],where I saw the Smashing Pumpkins play.
Q: Will you reunite with your brother to make music any time soon?
A: I don’t know. It’s fun to not talk to my brother about business. We can just talk about shows we watch on TV! It’s nice to just be brother and sister again.