From the start of her indie stardom as a founder of Rilo Kiley to her work with the Watson Twins, Jenny Lewis is a rare artist that has rarely had a career slump, let alone a controversy — all peaks, no valleys. For over 20 years (around 35 if you count her time as a kid actor), her fans only become more devoted, and the profiles about her more glowing.
Now purely solo, she’s upped her own creative ante yet again with March’s On the Line. On the Line gets immediately personal, unpacking the twisted relationships of her lifetime more frankly than ever before. Aided by a gleaming cast of music industry notables, the sounds of On the Line plumb glittering, glammy influences like Stevie Nicks and late-era Beatles, and brim with some of the most singable choruses you’ll ever hear. The whole thing is made for wailing along with out your car windows on a sparsely-filled oceanside highway, the sun sinking below the Pacific on your driver’s side.
Turning away from the My Little Pony fever dream of 2014’s the Voyager, the accompanying aesthetics for On the Line and the associated tour pivot toward a late-’60s Dusty Springfield vibe with a touch of the glam to come. She’s coming back from abroad this fall to play dates across the United States, and so far some fantastic surprises have been in store for Jenny Lewis ticket holders — it’s birthed, so far a custom tarot deck and a strain of weed. One of those will likely not be there, but it still seems likely that, if you’re into making retail purchases, her merch table’s gonna be lit.
See the sparkly new incarnation of Lewis live and in person on September 28, in Oakland’s regal Fox Theater — a space fit for the songwriting royalty she is.