Although Blake Sennett’s announcement that Rilo Kiley had split wasn’t a surprise, the acrimony with which he delivered it was. “I just felt like there was a lot of deception, disloyalty, greed and things I don’t really want to submit myself to,” he spluttered through apparently clenched teeth. “I had related that frustration to music but I just thought, ‘I’m not going to put myself in that position again,’ so I said, ‘Fuck that, I can’t do this anymore.'” Eek.
On his Facebook he clarified his quote, saying: “Most of the interview was in reference to me leaving music in general and my reasoning for doing so. Not Rilo Kiley specifically”. Still, it’s a sad end to a band who combined twisted, deceptively sweet indie hooks with occasionally brilliant lyrics and that strange male/female chemistry which you felt could threaten to capsize at any moment (which it eventually did).
Here’s 5 reasons while we’ll miss them.
1. The ‘Ex-Couple’ Factor
There’s always something tantalizingly dramatic about ex-couples making music together. Just think of Fleetwood Mac, ABBA and The Human League. Rilo Kiley were another one. Seeing Blake and Jenny’s dynamic develop from united to off-kilter and sad made their music all the more thrilling.
2. Their Lyrics
Elvis Costello praised Jenny Lewis’ incisive and penetrating lyrics. On tracks like ‘A Better Son/Daughter’ (with it’s cracking line about “The lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap“) and ‘The Good That Won’t Come Out’ she displayed an exquisite mix of the confessional and poetic.
3. They Left Us Hanging
After time flitting about on indie labels, they signed to Warner Brothers in 2004 and despite releasing two albums for them (2004’s ‘More Adventurous’ and 2007’s ‘Under The Blacklight’), they left with the equally tantalizing and disappointing feeling that there was more to come. It seems strange to think that’s it.
4. Their Dark Californian Heart
As former child actors and, in Jenny’s case, the child of a Vegas-lounge duo, the duo had clearly seen their fair share of skewered dreams and snake-like, showbiz attitudes. Their final album 2007’s ‘Under The Blacklight’ partly focused on that side, from their glammy image to tracks like ‘The Moneymaker’ and ‘Close Call’ which were portraits of Hollywood hopes gone south.
5. The Bonkers Twist At The End Of ‘Does He Love You’
Just because we think it’s pretty clever.
What are you going to miss about the band?