Jenny is Nevada’s Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, purveyors of wonderfully off-kilter indie poprock; Johnny is Johnathan Rice, a ScottishAmerican singer-songwriter whose style teeters somewhere between Neil Young and Gram Parsons. Together, however (they are also real-life partners as well as being creative collaborators), Jenny and Johnny stir it up by being a little bit me and a little bit you. The title of the pair’s debut album may be I’m
but in between the love’n’stuff material there are bittersweet quips, caustic asides and real life. Good to Old hands they might be, but over the years James Bradfield, Sean Moore and Nicky Wire have written more than their fair share of songs that blend the anthemic with the dynamic. The flair the band show for songs of this nature is so innate it’s surely now part of their creative DNA – from early material such as Motorcycle Emptiness, Little Baby Nothing and Everything Must Go to latter-day songs from their previous three superb albums (2007’s Send Away The Tigers, 2009’s Journal for Plague Lovers, 2010’s Postcards From a Young Man), the band has proven that being of cultural relevance remains crucial to them. A new album, 70 Songs of Hatred and Failure, will be released later this year, so expect to hear one or two tracks in progress.