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Eleanor Friedberger was raised along with brother Matthew in their grandmother's house in the west Chicago suburb of Oak Park. During her younger years, Eleanor used to sing with her grandmother at the family's Greek Orthodox Church every week.
However, it wasn't until her older brother Matthew returned from University of Illinois before Eleanor began singing for an audience outside of the parish. Matthew and Eleanor began experimenting with writing and recording their own songs, beginning with a song written by Eleanor about a trip to London. With that song, the Fiery Furnaces were born.
Throughout years of critical and commercial success with the Fiery Furnaces, Matthew has continued to excercise his experimental muscles with his own solo recordings, releasing solo albums in 2005 and 2006.
Yet 2011 found both Friedberger's venturing into solo record territory. After nearly a decade of exclusively Fiery Furnace releases, Eleanor released Last Summer on Merge Records in July of 2011 to universal praise. Where her brother's solo outings tend to be more experimental and conceptual in nature (see his Solos series), Eleanor's solo work has a more traditional, straightforward sound that is both delicate and witty.