Eleni Mandell - "Baby, Don't Call" (audio) (Premiere)

by Brice Ezell

20 May 2015

The old-timey charm of Eleni Mandell's "Baby, Don't Call" is simple and irresistible.
Photo: Laura Heffington 

Eleni Mandell keeps herself plenty busy. Since her debut in 1999, Wishbone, she has kept a steady pace in releasing albums, including her most recent outing, last year’s Let’s Fly a Kite. It’s a testament to her tenacity as a songwriter that she hasn’t lost steam yet, as evinced by her new record Dark Lights Up, out not but a year after Let’s Fly a Kite. The aesthetic of Dark Lights Up was informed by a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville while she was on tour. Upon encountering the music of Roger Miller, she “was really struck by how simple his production was, and how central his voice and how open the sound was on the record… There aren’t a lot of layers, and the melody and his voice and the words were more beautiful for it. It made me want to de-clutter and strip away and make something simple that still sounded full and beautiful.”
Case in point: “Baby, Don’t Call”, one of the cuts on Dark Lights Up. Mandell’s charming voice is front and center, her delivery highlighting the playfulness of the lyrics. Musically the song can’t help but evoke a black-and-white saloon scene, where whiskey flows freely and fingers plink on worn barroom pianos.

Of the song, Mandell says to PopMatters, “Why get too deeply involved with the wrong person? Just don’t call and I can be left to enjoy that great kiss that we had forever. Fade out.”

Dark Lights Up is out on 24 July via Yep Roc.

Upcoming tour dates for Mandell:

Tues, July 14—Mississippi Studios—Portland, OR
Wed, July 15—Cozmic—Eugene, OR
Thurs, July 16—Freemont Abbey—Seattle, WA
Fri, July 17—The Bartlett—Spokane, WA
Sun, July 19—Kilby—Salt Lake City, UT
Tues, July 21—Lost Lake—Denver, CO
Thurs, July 23—Davey’s Uptown—Kansas City,  MO
Fri, July 24—Reverb—Omaha, NE
Sat, July 25—Schuba’s—Chicago, IL
Sun, July 26—Turf Club—Minneapolis, MN
Tues, July 28—Shank Hall—Milwaukee, WI
Wed, July 29—The Bishop—Bloomington, IN
Sun, August 2—Mercury Lounge—New York, NY
Mon, August 3—Passim—Boston, MA
Tue, August 4—World Café Live—Philadelphia, PA

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