Mental Illness, is the epitome of that sentiment. On the stunning, stripped-down recording, Mann draws from tales of her friends — one who struggled with bipolar disorder, another who moved 3,000 miles across the country to marry someone, only to have the person not show up. Part of the inspiration for the feel of Mental Illness came from listening to a Bread greatest-hits album while on the road with Ted Leo. Mann says she also looked to Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen as reference points for acoustic-guitar-based folk music with strings.
Although Aimee Mann says she’s a cheerful person, she likes to listen to songs that are sad, soft and slow. She’s also written her share of melancholy music, but her brand-new album,