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Eleni Mandell has managed to carve out a decent career for herself in the last 15 years. She’s a native of Los Angeles, and that geographical good fortune afforded her the opportunity to immerse herself in the rich musical scene of Southern California during her formative years. Now that she’s been at it awhile, fans might not make the connection between her elegantly simple songs adorned with acoustic guitars and the underground punk and rock shows she grew up frequenting. Along the way, she has worked with music-savant producer Jon Brion, guitarists Nels Cline and Tony Gilkyson, drummer/producer Joey Waronker and the back up band on her new record, Let’s Fly A Kite, was borrowed from none other than Nick Lowe. Over the years, Mandell has been compared to such diverse artists as PJ Harvey, X, Patsy Cline and Tom Waits and her life and career have continued to evolve. In addition to guitars and merch, Mandell now takes along a set of twins when she hits the road, and the shift in perspective is evident on Let’s Fly A Kite. Motherhood has brought a new-found focus to Mandell’s music because there simply isn’t the time to sit around and wait for inspiration to strike when little people need to be clothed, fed and entertained. The evolution is a logical one, and it suits her music just fine. The twelve songs on Let’s Fly A Kite are playful and focused and her evolution as an artist has been welcomed by critics, fans and the artist herself.