LA pop singer Eleni Mandell takes a soft and elegant approach on her latest album, Miracle of Five (Zedtone). The influence of her hero Tom Waits is strong, but with gently swinging grooves cradling her sweet, slightly smoky voice, there isn't a hint of gruffness to be found. She recorded alone at first, accompanied by her nylon-string guitar, then brought in an excellent supporting cast (including guitarist Nels Cline and percussionist DJ Bonebreak) to drop in additional parts, but with producer Andy Kaulkin at the helm, the record doesn't sound pieced together. I think it’s the first time she’s nailed it, finding the proper balance between between tunefulness and late night atmospherics, even if she does still have a tendency to overdo her breathiness. She plays Schubas on Sunday, June 3.