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Rilo Kiley

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Rilo Kiley
Rilo Kiley performing live (2007)
Rilo Kiley performing live (2007)
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California
GenresIndie rock, indie pop
Years active1998–2013
LabelsWarner Bros., Brute/Beaute, Saddle Creek, Barsuk, Rilo Records
Past membersJenny Lewis
Blake Sennett
Pierre de Reeder
Jason Boesel
Dave Rock
Mike Bloom

Rilo Kiley (/ˈrl ˈkli/ RY-loh KY-lee) was an American indie rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1998, the band consisted of Jenny Lewis, Blake Sennett, Pierre de Reeder, and Dave Rock.

The group released their debut album Take-Offs and Landings under Seattle-based independent label Barsuk Records in 2001.[1] After that, they released three additional studio albums and several EPs. In 2007, they were signed with Warner Bros., and subsequently made their major-label debut with the album Under the Blacklight.[1]


Rilo Kiley performed their first concert at Spaceland in Los Angeles in January 1998.[2] Their debut EP, Rilo Kiley (later reissued as The Initial Friend EP), was released in 1999. The band signed with independent label Barsuk Records for its first full-length album, Take-Offs and Landings, in 2001. The band later signed with Omaha's Saddle Creek Records and released The Execution of All Things in 2002. In 2004, they released More Adventurous on its own imprint, Brute/Beaute Records, which was distributed by major label Warner Bros. Records. The band later signed directly with Warner Bros.

2004 saw a great increase in recognition for the band, as Sennett and Boesel released an album with their band The Elected and Lewis sang backup on The Postal Service's Give Up. Lewis toured with The Postal Service before heading out on two tours in support of Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous in the summer and fall of 2004. The album spent late 2004 high on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart, and was promoted with appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The band opened for Bright Eyes on the international leg of Conor Oberst's tour for 2005's I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and was the opening act for the North American dates of Coldplay's Twisted Logic Tour in Fall 2005. "I Never" and "Ripchord" (from More Adventurous) have been featured in several feature films, including Must Love Dogs, Conversations with Other Women, and John Tucker Must Die.

The band's fourth album Under the Blacklight was released August 20, 2007 in the United Kingdom[3] and the following day in the United States.[4] Its first single is "The Moneymaker". For the video, the band cast "real-life porn stars", who Lewis says were told they were auditioning for "soft core porn".[5] The second single is "Silver Lining".

On September 6, 2007, the band began a North American tour in support of Under the Blacklight. On this tour, it was joined by Orenda Fink (of Azure Ray) and Kristin Gundred (of Grand Ole Party and Dum Dum Girls).

The group was also known for its charitable contributions, particularly to the Elliott Smith Memorial Fund, in honor of the late singer and friend of the band. Sennett and Lewis participated in a memorial concert for the singer shortly after his death in 2003. In 2007, the band contributed a t-shirt, which was designed by de Reeder for the Yellow Bird Project to benefit the Elliott Smith Memorial Fund.[6]

Hiatus and breakup[edit]

In a 2010 interview with Paste, Jason Boesel said the band was taking a break but working on a compilation of unreleased songs. He also said there were no plans to release a new album in the near future.[7]

In an April 2011 interview, Blake Sennett said,"I would say that if Rilo Kiley were ... hmmm ... a human being ... hmmm ... he's probably laying on his back in a morgue with a tag on his toe. Now, I see movies where the dead get up and walk. And when they do that, rarely do good things happen."[8]

In June 2011, when asked about his "corpse" comment and whether Rilo Kiley was indeed dead, Sennett said "I never say never. I loved Rilo Kiley—I loved writing with Jenny. I think she's a great artist and great to write with. I think we're not there yet. Maybe one day we'll dust it off and give it a go; I'd be open to it. I think it was fun—for all of the pitfalls, it was great. I had a great time in Rilo Kiley. I always did."[9]

A month later Sennett told AOL Spinner: "I said, 'Fuck that, I can't do this anymore.' That being said, it was probably immature and that came from a place of ego. I think that stuff will rear its head in anything you do, depending on the personnel you surround yourself with; things change overtime [sic] and people change and relationships change."

In February 2013, the band announced a collection of previously released rarities and unreleased material, titled Rkives, to be released in April 2013 on DeReeder's own label the Little Record Company.[10]

In a 2014 interview with the National Post, Jenny Lewis confirmed the band had officially broken up.[11]

In April 2015, Blake Sennett joined Jenny Lewis and her band on stage at Coachella for a performance of the Rilo Kiley song "Portions for Foxes".[12]

Since embarking on a solo career, Jenny Lewis has enlisted the help of drummer Jason Boesel for percussion on studio recordings. He was also part of Lewis' live band for her 2019 tour.

Television appearances[edit]

2004 live performance

The apparent first use of Rilo Kiley music on a television show was also the last time that Sennett and Lewis acted on television. In 2000, they played fictionalized versions of themselves on ABC's short-lived drama Once & Again, with the band also performing "The Frug" on the episode. Since then, the band's music has been used multiple times across several television programs.

  • Both "The Frug" and "85" were used during an episode of Dawson's Creek, "Barefoot At Capefest" (S03E46).
  • "Pictures of Success" was used in episode No. 114 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, entitled "Older and Far Away".
  • "Breakin' Up" was featured in season four of Grey's Anatomy.
  • "Portions For Foxes" was used in the pilot of Grey's Anatomy in 2005. In 2009, the song was used in the seventh episode of season one of Dollhouse, "Echoes". In 2023, the song was used in an episode of Barry, entitled "Tricky legacies".
  • "With Arms Outstretched" was used at the end of the pilot episode of Weeds in 2005. To bring the show full circle, it was the final song played in the series finale in 2012. For a second-season episode of Weeds, Lewis sang the theme song ("Little Boxes") with Johnathan Rice, who was touring with the band.
  • "Silver Lining" was featured in the pilot of Women's Murder Club. The song was also used in the second season of Girls.
  • "The Moneymaker" was used on an episode of Nip/Tuck that aired on December 11, 2007, and on an episode of Samantha Who? that aired on April 16, 2009.
  • "The Good That Won't Come Out" was featured in the background of the Season 4 Episode 4 episode of Heroes "Hysterical Blindness" on 10/12/2009.
  • "A Better Son/Daughter" was featured in the trailer for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. It is also featured at the end of Hannah Gadsby's 2018 Netflix special, Nanette.
  • "The Execution Of All Things" was featured in the Six Feet Under episode "Terror Starts at Home" (S04E06).
  • "Go Ahead" was featured throughout the 2013 film Very Good Girls.
  • "Science vs. Romance" was used in season 5 episode 4 of Gilmore Girls, entitled "Tippecanoe And Taylor, Too"

Origin of the band's name[edit]

On the syndicated radio show Loveline in August 2005, Sennett explained that he had a dream in which he was being chased by a sports almanac: "when it got me, I leafed through it...and I came upon an Australian rules football player from the 19th century named Rilo Kiley. It's kind of embarrassing." When asked by co-host Drew Pinsky if he had ever seen this name in reality, Sennett said "I don't think so, I don't think that character exists...If you Google 'Rilo Kiley' you just come back with a lot of pictures of us." On how this imaginary name became the name for the band: "I wrote it down on a blotter, an office desk when I woke up, and, I don't know, I came back to it when we were trying to think of a name and we thought we'd use that for one show then change it, 'cause who'd want that name? Who can remember that anyway?"[13]

In 2005, Sennett told the teletext magazine Planet Sound that the name came from a Scottish athlete.[citation needed] On a 2005 episode of the MSNBC entertainment show MSNBC Entertainment Hot List, the female host stated that the name came from "old Scottish sports almanacs". In the interview segment that followed, Sennett stated "We just looked in there and the name of one of the star players from the turn of the century was Rilo Kiley."[citation needed]

In an interview published in Q magazine in September 2007, Sennett stated that Rilo Kiley is named after a character he'd met in a dream who had predicted the date of Jenny Lewis' death.[citation needed]

Band members[edit]

Final line-up
  • Jenny Lewislead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, bass (1998–2013)
  • Blake Sennett – lead guitar, keyboards, backing and occasional lead vocals (1998–2013)
  • Pierre de Reeder – bass, rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals (1998–2013)
  • Jason Boesel – drums, percussion (2001–2013)
Former members
  • Dave Rock – drums, percussion (1998–2001)
  • Mike Bloom – pedal steel, additional guitars (2004–2005)



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rilo Kiley: Full Biography". MTV. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  2. ^ Rettig, James (27 July 2020). "Rilo Kiley Will Reissue And Finally Stream Their 1999 Debut". Stereogum. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Rilo Kiley return with new record | News". Nme.Com. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  4. ^ Pitchfork: Rilo Kiley Reveal Blacklight Tracklist, U.S. Release Date Archived June 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Rilo Kiley say new album is their 'sexiest ever' | News". Nme.Com. 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  6. ^ "Bands Design T-Shirts for Charity Benefit". SPIN Magazine. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  7. ^ "New Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley Albums in the Works, Says Jason Boesel :: Music :: News :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  8. ^ "Blake Sennett discusses The Elected, the possible end of Rilo Kiley, and more « Consequence of Sound". Consequence.net. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  9. ^ District, The (2011-06-17). "Catching Up With Blake Sennett :: Music :: Features :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  10. ^ "Rilo Kiley Almost Finished Archival Project, Not Releasing Album of New Material". Pitchfork. 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  11. ^ "Jenny Lewis talks breaking up the band, messaging Ryan Adams on Twitter and dealing with insomnia". National Post. 2014-07-30. Archived from the original on 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
  12. ^ "Coachella 2015: Jenny Lewis set features mini Rilo Kiley reunion". Pasadena Star News. 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  13. ^ Loveline Rilo Kiley whysanity.net

External links[edit]