As soon as Cher asked me to guest write a post for Throwback Thursday I started to hum “The Frug.” For me, and many others, Rilo Kiley is the band you can play on repeat and never get tired of. In fact, as I wrote this post at work (I’m a bored receptionist, embrace it!) I listened to nothing but Rilo Kiley.
The band formed in 1998 in Los Angeles. Members Blake Sennett and Jenny Lewis both started out as child actors. Jenny’s most famous role was probably as Hannah Nefler in Troop Beverly Hills, a movie I know Cher loves like no other. Now, for my favorite nugget of pop culture trivia, Blake was Pinsky on Salute Your Shorts and Joey the Rat on Boy Meets World. Go on, let that marinate.
Three years after Rilo Kiley came together they released Take Offs and Landings which showcases Blake’s vocals more than any other album the band put out.
Tracks like Science vs. Romance and August are so beautifully constructed instrumentally and lyrically. Sennett and Lewis’ voices really complement each other on both songs.
Their second full length was The Execution of All Things in 2002. Just thinking about what this album did for me, especially “A Better Son/Daughter”, gets me all flustered. Yes, I do realize that I sound like a pathetic fan girl, and no I do not care. In the beginning of the song, Lewis comes off as meek. As the song rolls on she belts out lyrics like “And sometimes when you’re on you’re really fucking on and your friends they sing along and they love you. But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap and it teases you for weeks in its absence.” Those lyrics have always resonated with me.
In 2004, we saw the release of More Adventurous. This was actually the first Rilo Kiley album that I was introduced to back in college. I could gush/drool over every song, but I’ll spare you. Instead, just watch the video below!
Under The Blacklight came out in 2007. It is the last studio album of new music that Rilo Kiley put out. The band took a hiatus/broke up/confused all of us/broke my heart three years later. Rkives came out in 2013 which gave us a compilation of unreleased work from the band.
Though it breaks my little heart that we won’t be expecting any new music from Rilo Kiley, I can take solace in the fact that they’re still putting music out through other outlets. Jenny Lewis has had an amazing solo career. She put out Voyager last year and embarked on a tour. However, before you pick up Voyager, do yourselves a favor and listen to Rabbit Fur Coat which Jenny recorded with Watson Twins in 2006. Then call me when your brain has stopped melting. Blake and drummer Jason Boesel formed The Elected in 2004 and have put out a few albums. If you’re feeling festive (and you should always be feeling festive) check out Sun, Sun, Sun. It is absolutely beautiful and a regular on my rotation of car CDs. Blake is now in Night Terrors of 1927!
I honestly never thought I’d see the day where these guys would be considered a throwback. Best case scenario, I reignited a love for this band or introduced them to a new audience. Worst case scenario, I have some tweens making fun of me for liking something that started in 1998. Either way, Rilo Kiley is truly one of those bands that reminds me why I love music so fucking much.