I know we usually stick to inane TV around here, but my mind is on good music today (well, most days, really). Though I’m unemployed and penniless, I did manage to find enough change in my sofa to spring for Jenny Lewis’s new record Acid Tongue this week. Jenny is the former child actor (Troop Beverly Hills anyone?), current lead singer of Rilo Kiley, and oft-described “indie-rock heartthrob.”
Her first solo outing, 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat, with the Watson Twins, was gorgeous, one of those records I still can’t get enough of. Initially, listening to Acid Tongue, I missed the rich harmonies that Jenny + Watson Twins offered on RFC. The first two songs on AT (“Black Sand” and “Pretty Bird”) didn’t immediately grab me. But the title track is wonderful, as is “The Next Messiah,” and I love the girl-group sound of “Trying My Best to Love You.” The whole thing sounds like it was awfully fun to record, like friends hanging out playing music—-if your friends were Elvis Costello, Chris Robinson, M. Ward, and Zooey Deschanel, and if your dad was a harmonica player who chimed in on some songs, and your sister sang some back-up, too, and if you could rock a fedora as effortlessly as Jenny.
Jenny’s beau, Johnathan Rice, was one of the producers on AT and the sound of “Carpetbaggers,” particularly, reminded me of Jenny + Johnathan’s duet “The End of the Affair,” from Johnathan’s record, Further North.
Anyway, Acid Tongue is growing on me more by the listen; I’m just happy to have some new music from Ms. Lewis to keep me company. (Wow, this is really earnest. I’d better sign off now.)
Just one more thing: Check out this L.A. Times article on the making of Acid Tongue, and Greg Kot’s (of the Chicago Tribune) take here. Love this quote from Jenny in Kot’s piece: “I can’t believe that I ever got a pass to play music in the first place. I was a child actor — are you kidding me? I should be like Corey Haim or Corey Feldman or the chick from ‘Diff’rent Strokes.’”