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Eleni Mandell: Specializing In Love Lost

With Valentine's Day approaching, there's still time to get into the spirit of hearts, flowers and love songs. Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell's music, however, specializes in the other side of love — the disappointment and the heartbreak — with her sweetly dark tales of love lost.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Renee Montagne, the Los Angeles-based songwriter discusses sewing, her new album, and how she credits her sensibility to growing up in the Valley in the '70s and '80s.

"There's something sort of missing there, and it's not that pretty," Mandell says. "I guess I sort of find the romance in the emptiness in a way — the romance in the mini-mall."

Mandell's seventh full-length album, Artificial Fire, draws on her own hardships in love, as well as a phrase translated from English to French and back to English.

"I was in Montreal, and there were fireworks, and I asked my friend, 'How do you say that in French?' He said, 'Feu d'artifice.' I thought, 'Oh, how interesting — artificial fire.' That is kind of a perfect metaphor for another failed romance. I really love all these experiences that I've had, and I definitely haven't given up on love. I keep plugging away at it."

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