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Leslie Mendelson

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice...

The anger and depression got to me, and I couldn’t hold it in anymore. So, I got into a room with my demons and we just hit record,” shares indie singer-songwriter Leslie Mendelson. The resulting album, playfully titled, ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…,’ is viscerally themed, imaginatively arranged, cinematically dynamic and textured, oozing raw elegance.

“I deal with depression and anxiety, and I’ve never really sang about it before. It also felt like what was going on with society was also affecting me, in terms of gun violence, the opioid crisis, and the all hatred in the news and media. It felt like it was time to speak out,” Leslie explains.

Leslie has released two prior albums, including her Grammy Award-nominated debut, ‘Swan Feathers,’ one EP, and three singles. Her first album exhibited a production sheen she opted to strip away on her sophomore album, ‘Love & Murder.’ Her latest, ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…,’ is a gutsy album that splits the difference between her previous albums in terms of production, but also features some garage-rock bluster.

“The best time to make a rock n’ roll record is when you’re broke and pissed off,” she says, with a good-natured laugh. For the album, Leslie worked with longtime co-writer and guitarist Steve McEwan who co-produced the album alongside bassist and engineer Lorenzo Wolff.

Previously to releasing ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…,’ Leslie and Steve collaborated with Jackson Browne on a stirring composition that was featured in the acclaimed documentary film, ‘5B,’ about the San Francisco General Hospital AIDS ward during the early ’80s directed by Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss. Leslie and Jackson also performed together at the Beacon Theater in NYC in June 2019, while she joined him throughout his West Coast tour to perform the song in August 2019. In addition, Leslie had the distinct honor of opening for The Who twice at Madison Square Garden in May and September 2019.

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© 2020 Shervin Lainez

© 2020 Shervin Lainez

© 2020 Shervin Lainez

© 2020 Cover Art

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