There have been many famous musical couples through time: Sonny and Cher, John and Yoko, Sid and Nancy, Simon and Garfunkel? (sorry I couldn’t help myself) – and although California based lovebirds Jenny and Johnny don’t seem poised to change the world they do seem to be having ALOT of fun making poppy indie music together. The couple has had a hand in each other’s albums for years now but their recent release fully showcases their chemistry as they churn out modern sounding pop music with just enough of an edge to keep things respectable.
The album jumps off with “Scissor Runner,” which features Jenny and Johnny harmonizing and taking turns with the lead vocal to perfection, and the rest of the album follows in the same vein. The good times continue with “My Pet Snakes,” “Big Wave,” “Just Like Zeus,” “Straight Edge of the Blade” and “Committed,” which couldn’t be cuter and will most likely prompt at least one person in the room to ask “what band is this?” In general the rhythms and guitar riffs on the album are kept quite simple throughout but it doesn’t really matter because this music is meant to be more of a good time than a technical masterpiece. Even songs where they are discussing the state of the economy, like “Big Wave” can’t be taken too seriously when they are set to such an adorable voice and ridiculously infectious rhythm. There are very few slow moments and most of them are welcome in the midst of a very poppy album where the upbeat cutesy pace couldn’t possibly be maintained throughout without taking a breather.
All in all I’m Having Fun Now is a solid album that is very successful in what the pair set out to accomplish – fun, poppy music with plenty of toe tapping moments. This isn’t the kind of music you listen to in coffee shops full of serious thinkers, this is the type of music you listen to with the windows down on a warm summer day. So the only question left is – are Jenny and Johnny the new music power couple? Debatable, since the real winners here seem to be spear headed by Jenny, leading you to believe she is the driving creative force behind this duo. Is Johnny just playing second fiddle to her genius or is he the muse necessary to create the music in the first place? Should we stop pointing fingers and over analyzing everything so much and just sit back and enjoy some very uncomplicated music created by two people who obviously compliment each other? Probably. So whether the album is a flash in the pan or destined to be on repeat to come doesn’t seem to matter when we are having so much fun…now.
Lately all the Jenny Lewis news has been about her new project with boyfriend Johnathan Rice, but looks like one of our favorite female voices has been double timing (not in that way, get your mind out of the gutter) with The Killers singer Brandon Flowers. Flowers is about to release his solo album Flamingo and the latest single “Hard Enough” features some well placed, albeit subtle, backup vocals from Lewis. You can preview the single below and look out for Flowers’ new album out September 14th.
Whether recording as a solo artist, with her band Rilo Kiley, or with her boyfriend, Jenny Lewis continues to be one of the premier female voices in today’s indie music scene. This time, it is the latter carnation of Jenny’s music as she is teaming with boyfriend, the VA native Johnathan Rice for their upcoming release I’m Having Fun Now. While the album isn’t due until August 31st, the duo just released this cassette tape themed widget streaming three of the new songs off of the new album. All three of the new tunes sound great, but don’t take my word for it, check em out below.
With Valentine’s Day weekend upon us the gang at Merchants or Rock were feeling a little torn about just posting the usual lovey dovey schmoopie moopie playlist for all the lovers out there. That’s why we decided to post two; one for the lovers and one for the people out there wanting to give a big middle finger to Cupid and his stupid little heart shaped arrows (not that there’s anything wrong with that). So on this Valentine’s Day we’ve drawn a line in the sand and asked you to pick a side.