Its always sad when a great band calls it a day, and even sadder when that break-up is something that almost seems to go unnoticed. Even if you’re already a fan of Los Angeles indie-rockers Rilo Kiley, it might have passed you by that they decided to go their separate ways earlier this year. The group had already been on a creative hiatus, but lead guitarist Blake Sennett broke the bad news in July: this temporary split was to become a permanent one.
If you haven’t heard of Rilo Kiley, well, let’s face it: their catalogue ain’t gonna grow anytime soon, so now’s the ideal chance to fully acquaint yourself with one of the most underrated bands of the past few years. Fronted by the luminescent Jenny Lewis (who instantly became the poster girl for lonely indie boys nationwide), their melodic, smart, sassy output spanned four full length albums, of which the two most recent (2004’s ‘More Adventurous’ and 2007’s ‘Under The Blacklist’) solidified their sound perfectly.
This isn’t to say that they were totally unappreciated during their twelve years together. Rilo Kiley were indeed heralded by certain quarters as the ‘next big thing’ roundabout the mid-noughties, with magazines such as Rolling Stone and Word continually championing them. The fact that they didn’t become megastars makes this hype something of a double-edged sword: they could rather unfairly be seen as having ‘failed’ to break the big-time, when that was far from their primary artistic objective. That objective remained constant to the end: to make great music.
Thankfully all the band members remain active, so that Kiley magic will be sprinkled across numerous new creative ventures in the future. Still – it’s a shame that (barring a reunion, which is so often a bad idea) we’ll be hearing no more literary pop-rock from this very special band.