Singer-songwriter and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis just recently released “Just One of The Guys,” the first single off her forthcoming The Voyager LP. The new album marks Lewis’ first solo album in six years, but the song is her second single this year (“Completely Not Me” from the Girls Volume 2 soundtrack was released in January).
Lewis’ witty writing and heartbreaking delivery always leave me anticipating her next move. Now that it’s finally here — or will be on July 29th, anyways — let’s take a look back through some of her best solo songs.
Paradise was the B-side to Lewis’ first solo release, Rabbit Fur Coat. Regardless of its B placement, it deserves a good listen. Its soft delivery and slide guitar have it straddling the fine line between this first album and Lewis’ second, Acid Tongue. “Paradise” finds beauty in the desolate.
4. “Completely Not Me”
Lewis teamed up with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij for this track off the Girls Volume 2 soundtrack. It is an attention grabber because it’s a bit of a departure from Lewis’ typical album fare. The song has a whimsicality to it, and set against Lewis’ usual crisp lyrics, it begs to be set on repeat.
3. “The Next Messiah”
At 8+ minutes long, this song is a magnum opus. It was ultimately three separate songs that Lewis and partner Jonathan Rice worked into one. The transitions are clear but never jarring, and the final product is a down-and-dirty, explosive tall tale.
2. “Sing a Song for Them”
To borrow from another one of Lewis’ songs, this track melts my heart. A completely heartbreaking lullaby, Lewis sings a song for the forgotten ones. This track also features great backup harmonies from Zooey Deschanel and Lewis’ sister Leslie.
1. “Rise Up with Fists!!”
Lewis paints a picture of the downtrodden and desperate so tangible, it’s eerie. Her forceful delivery makes the depiction of a life that could have been ever more poignant.