Eleni Mandell - Artificial FireAlthough she flies under the radar, this L.A. hipster angel is worth seeking out. A witty songwriter with a beguiling voice, Eleni has made half a dozen whip-smart records, dating back to 2000’s slinky Thrill. Her last album, Miracle of Five, was a brilliant if melancholic collection of jazz-tinged torch numbers. Here, Eleni leans more toward upbeat, ’60s-style pop-rockers like the dreamy “Tiny Waist” and the shimmering “Bigger Burn.” And she gets her teenage-like kicks on the downright rowdy “Little Foot.”

February 2009