Could we get some news from the beloved indie band Rilo Kiley soon? The band broke up after the release of their final album ‘Rkives’ in 2013, and Blake Sennet and Jenny Lewis started separate careers. I saw Blake a few times perform with his two alt-rock side projects, The Elected then Night Terrors of 1927, while Jenny Lewis went on to release 4 solo albums, and among them her 2019 critically acclaimed ‘On The Line,’ plus two albums with her then-boyfriend Johnathan Rice and another album with the all-female indie band Nice As Fuck.
If you follow the band on social media, you may have noticed some very recent activity with the resurrection of their Twitter account after a 7-year hiatus… This same photo (above) of Jenny and Blake (with the red Annie and Mickey Mouse shirts) has been posted everywhere among a few others… So what’s going on?
A little research didn’t return much, besides this article, and another one on Consequence of Sounds that has been deleted before I was able to check it out! But it looks like Rilo Kiley, which formed in 1998, is going to reissue their self-titled debut album from 1999, on October 2nd via Little Record Company. This debut EP was recorded back in the days in a very DIY fashion but was never reissued, even when the band signed with independent label Barsuk Records for their first full-length album.
I have actually never listened to this record, but I remember listening to their 2001 ‘Take-Offs and Landings,’ their 2002 ‘The Execution of All Things’ in repeat, and I truly loved their 2004 album ‘More Adventurous,’ a big departure and a distribution by a major label, Warner Bros. Records. It has one of their biggest hits to date, the very catchy ‘Portions for Foxes.’ Even though I didn’t care too much about their 2 last ones (like the majority of people?) I have good memories of Rilo Kiley concerts.
I saw them for the first time at the Echo on October 1, 2002, they were almost unknown at the time and were opening for Elliott Smith whom everybody was coming to see after an absence from the scene. That’s how I discovered them and right away, they made a big impression on me and the rest of the crowd. They played ‘Science vs. Romance,’ ‘Paint’s Peeling,’ ‘A Better Son/Daughter,’ ‘My Slumbering Heart,’ ‘Spectacular Views,’ ‘The Execution of All Things,’ ‘Capturing Moods,’ and I saw them opening for Elliott once again, at the Fonda Theater, a few months later. The show was sold out and I was sold too. Since that time, I followed their career and was disappointed when they broke up.
At the time, Jenny was more than a cute girl, or a child actress-turned musician (just like Blake by the way), the tunes were memorable and were going from country ballads to new-wave throwdowns, while their delicate melodies had this anthemic quality with their lively California pop, melancholic tone, sudden explosions, and happy-sad outbursts. It was bleak poetry over big orchestrations with full vibrant horns uplifting parts, and Jenny’s melodic vocals, that were preparing us for the pop-country diva she has become.
Rilo Kiley are back on social media, but should we expect the reissue of ‘Rilo Kiley’ in the near future?
Meanwhile here is the tracklist and a few of my favorite Rilo Kiley songs:
06. Teenage Lovesong
an anthem for the ages and a thrilling version
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