Friday, October 3, 2008

Jenny Lewis, Indie Goddess

One of my favorite artists released a new cd last week. "Acid Tongue" is Jenny Lewis' follow-up to her 2006 release (with the Watson Twins) "Rabbit Fur Coat". Who is Jenny Lewis, you ask? Jenny Lewis is the lead singer for Rilo Kiley. Uh huh. And who is Rilo Kiley? Rilo Kiley is the LA indie band formed in 1999 by Lewis and fellow former child actor Blake Sennett. Though I guess I should say former indie band, since their 4th release, 2007's "Under the Blacklight", was their 1st major label release (Warner Bros). But what the heck, I'm still calling her an indie goddess because she and Rilo Kiley are still relatively unkown to much of the music listening public. Rilo Kiley is often mentioned in the same breath as Death Cab for Cutie, which is not surprising since their members seem to spend a lot of time jumping into side projects with one another, and because both bands' early records were released on Seattle-based Barsuk Records. One area that Rilo Kiley has had mainstream success is in marketing songs to tv and movies - various songs have been used in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Dawson's Creek", "The O.C.", "Weeds", "Nip/Tuck", "Grey's Anatomy", "Must Love Dogs", and "John Tucker Must Die".

Jenny's solo work is more acoustic and folkie than her work with Rilo Kiley, and "Acid Tongue" features guest appearances by Elvis Costello, M. Ward, and Zooey Deschanel. I do not have any of her current record to link to here as an example, as there are no official video releases yet. There are a number of bootleg video recordings on YouTube of Jenny performing songs off the new album, including the title track, "Jack Killed Mom", and "See Fernando", but I'm not linking to them because they are primarily shaky hand-shot video.

That said, below here are two Rilo Kiley songs, and a Jenny Lewis song from her first solo album. Give them a listen!

Rilo Kiley, "Portions for Foxes", from the album More Adventurous

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, "You Are What You Love", from the album Rabbit Fur Coat

Rilo Kiley, "The Moneymaker", from the album Under the Blacklight

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