Elliott Smith

Aimee Mann on how she allowed herself to 'roll around' in the biggest stereotype about her music

Aimee Mann on how she allowed herself to 'roll around' in the biggest stereotype about her music

The Los Angeles songwriter Aimee Mann will issue her new solo album, “Mental Illness,” on Friday. The 11 new ballads, waltzes and weepers — from one of the most acclaimed songwriters of her generation — resonate through lines and rhymes that capture characters drowning in hard emotions.

Last month The Times sat down with Mann at her home in Los Feliz to talk about the inspiration for “Mental Illness,” writing in tumultuous times and doing so while listening to soft rock and Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue.”

Here are excerpts from that conversation,...

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