I first discovered Rilo Kiley when I was fourteen years old. I was looking through Wikipedia to see what happened to the Boy Meets World cast and stumbled upon Blake Sennett’s page. I saw that he formed a band with some redheaded girl who was on Troop Beverly Hills and decided to check it out. That’s when my whole life changed.
As a lonely, confused, angsty teenage girl, I was able to find solace in Rilo Kiley. The lyrics were too familiar and relatable, which is something I desperately needed. Songs like “Glendora”, “Asshole”, “Breakin’ Up “and “Portions for Foxes” helped me battle through the toughest heartaches; “A Better Son/Daughter” taught me that it’s okay to feel depressed and shitty sometimes but that everything will be okay.
Many girls considered Taylor Swift to be their go-to singer for songs about bad relationships but Jenny was able to offer me something that nobody could— honesty. She’s witty and sarcastic; Jenny keeps it real. I really liked that she was able to openly sing about sexual relationships and disappointment in her love life without pointing fingers and slut shaming other women. In “Glendora,” she’s not shaming the dancers who are having sex with the guy she’s interested in, she’s owning up to the fact that she’s the one who has fallen for the wrong guy, who is a total jerk. Listening to Jenny sing is like talking to a friend and listening to them chat about their life. She’s not afraid to sing openly about her weaknesses and bad relationships, while still assuring you that she’s cool as fuck, because she is. She’s letting you know you can be both and they’re not mutually exclusive.
Even though Rilo Kiley broke up back in 2010, Jenny has continued to bring us amazing stuff as a solo artist. Her latest album, The Voyager, was released this week on July 29. Her latest single off The Voyager is “One of The Guys”, which pokes fun at the double standard that women face in Hollywood. She sings ” There’s just one difference between you and me/When I look at myself all I can see/I’m just another lady without a baby.” As if being outspoken about that is not badass enough, her video for the song features gender bending Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, and Tennessee Thomas, who dress up as stereotypical dudes. It’s very interesting to see Kristen Stewart and Anne Hathaway featured in a video that pokes fun at Hollywood’s double standard, considering they’ve dealt with their fair share of it.
The rest of the album features some noteworthy songs, such as “Late Bloomer”, where she discusses her experimentation with her sexuality during her teenage years, and “Slippery Slopes,” —a bit reminiscent of “Under the Blacklight”— where she sings about open relationships and the hardship of dealing with them. Jenny proves that after more than a decade of providing us with relatable, honest songs, she’s still one of us. She’s still our girl and she’s got our back.