Rilo Kiley lead singer Jenny Lewis has gone solo - and her debut album sounds bloody...
Lucy Davies 2006
Jenny Lewis was a child actress before fronting BBC 6 Music's favourite band, Rilo Kiley. In Rabbit Fur Coat she goes solo with identical twin Texan gospel singers providing backing vocals.
And it sounds bloody glorious; addictive even. Jenny Lewis' musical soul comes from god-fearing country; hence her music takes on those elements traditionally linked with the Deep South: slide guitars, harmonica, and three part harmonies. But curiously her heart doesn't fear god,so with her lyrics she ingeniously turns the songs on their heads. She moves from beautifully warm close mic'ed intimate waltzes like "Melt Your Heart", to a defiant, rocking, unearthing of hypocrisy, in "Rise Up With Fists".
Her voice wraps up youth, wisdom and strength with vulnerability, to utter dark lyrical wisdom. The title track tells the tale of one girl's knifepoint attempted stealing of another's coat, but revenge was had by sleeping with knifepoint girl's father. Lewis speaks prettily of troublesome truths; the chiming organ and the vocal harmonies on confessional "You Are What You Love" has melted my heart all over the floor.