Music acts and their PR teams manufacture all kinds of gimmicks to get people to pay attention to new works. But recording a new album while eight months pregnant with twins — which is precisely what Eleni Mandell did with I Can See the Future — would be going just a little far in the name of publicity. Mandell made the decision to have kids on her own using a sperm donor, and the only reason she waited until she was about to pop to go into the studio was that her dream drummer’s schedule opened up. But the knocked-up sessions aren’t just a human-interest side note. Mandell’s new album is the marvelously self-aware work of a contemporary woman whose determination to make her own choices about living, loving and childbearing comes through in her songwriting in interesting ways. Early on in her career, the coolly detached singer and savvy songwriter took cues from Tom Waits, then dabbled in country and jazz, but Brill Building-style pop is her vehicle for blending romanticism and realism here.