Private Eleanor
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Private Eleanor

Band Rock Folk


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Private Eleanor @ Joe Squared

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Private Eleanor @ Metro Gallery

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Private Eleanor @ Hampdenfest

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Private Eleanor is a memorable indie rock band that critics will love and fans will flock towards." -

"Top 10 Baltimore Albums of 2005; Top 20 Live Shows of 2005" - Narrowcast

"A combination of the soft folk of Elliott Smith and Nick Drake and a country influence that draws both from the Byrdsian sound of later Teenage Fanclub and the alt-country sound of bands like the Mendoza Line and Wilco." - Indiepages

"No-depression fans and shoegazers [alike] will find this album a great treat." - Space City Rock

"Godamn this band is really good... Topping the list of bands they sound like is American Analog Set, [but] actually, in some instances, PE’s songs sound even prettier and more delicate." - Palebear

"The drizzly, cinematic sweep of Stahl's road-weary, twentysomething heartbreak is more sharply observed than ever, set to a lush swirl of bells, vibraphone, Hammond organ, and Rhodes piano meticulously arranged for the tingling of spines, crisply recorded and hitting all the band's now well-established sweet spots... Each song works beautifully as a little standalone slice of baroque indie-pop." - Baltimore City Paper

"In the most complimentary sense, this could have been the final album Elliott Smith should have made." -

"Hushed yet adamant whisper-folk-pop... Not far from where [Teenage Fanclub] have only now alighted... Recommended." - The Big Takeover

"Best Singer/Songwriter: Austin Stahl (Private Eleanor) ...He writes personal songs that, because of their technicolor intimacy, mean as much to anybody else as they do to him..." - Baltimore City Paper


Sweethearting (2007)
No Straight Lines (2005)
My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions (2003)
Deciduous (2002)

Limited-run CD-R:
An Audiography of Prohibited Sounds (2004)
Blood Maladies (2003)
Private Eleanor (2001)

Seven-inch EP:
Pupa's Window vs. Private Eleanor (2002)


Feeling a bit camera shy


“All I want’s a place to be,” sings Private Eleanor toward the end of 'Sweethearting', the band’s fourth full-length record. The harmonies from singers Austin Stahl and Marian Glebes are as lovely as anything in the Private Eleanor discography – a little-heard but critically-acclaimed body of work stretching back to Stahl’s lo-fi cassette days at the beginning of the decade – but there’s an odd tension at work here. Though these eleven songs are full of characters who yearn for a sense of belonging, they’re played by a band who has confidently found its sound.

Private Eleanor, who hail from the underdog city of Baltimore, has been called everything from “whisper-folk-pop” to “infectious indie-rock” to “moody, progressive pop.” At various points, they manage to conjure Mojave 3 produced by Wilco, or Simon & Garfunkel fronting the Dismemberment Plan, or Yo La Tengo tackling your favorite Neil Young and Big Star songs. Whatever you call it, the album’s assuredness and sonic depth recalls the later records of Ida, Elliott Smith, or Red House Painters, where previously understated acts discovered that a little extra muscle only heightened their songs’ emotional impact.

To that end, 'Sweethearting' was made with the help of two of the nearby DC scene’s most in-demand indie-rock engineers: T.J. Lipple and Chad Clark. The pair (whose collective resume includes the Evens, Georgie James, and their own bands Aloha and Beauty Pill) helmed the fast-paced sessions at their Silver Sonya studios and the legendary Inner Ear, with most of the performances captured live in the studio. The result is a record full of sly hooks, sparkling textures, and the same oblique-but-evocative storytelling that once led Baltimore’s City Paper to tout Stahl as the city’s best songwriter.

Over the past few years, Private Eleanor has toured the east coast, midwest, and south, sharing the stage with a range of nationally known underground artists – Starlight Mints, Dios Malos, Caitlin Cary, New Radiant Storm King, The Broken West, and fellow breakout Marylanders Metal Hearts and Page France, to name a few – whose diversity serves to highlight the band’s eclectic appeal. Sweethearting is the culmination of those road-sharpened skills – the sound of a band that knows just where it belongs.

[Two new releases featuring Private Eleanor are on the way this fall: A tribute to Grant McLennan of the Go-Betweens, out in October (to which PE contributes the title track, "Love Goes On", and appears alongside such greats as the Clientele, the Bats, Portastatic, Ivy, and Stars); and a Beechfields label compilation that will feature new music!]