Solo Projects Won't Mean End Of Rilo Kiley

Solo efforts will not force the group to go on hiatus. In fact, the pair hopes to have a new Rilo Kiley album finished by next year.

Both principal members of Rilo Kiley will release albums from their side projects on Jan. 24 (Blake Sennett with the Elected's Sub Pop set "Sun, Sun, Sun" and Jenny Lewis with the Team Love release "Rabbit Fur Coat"). But that will not force the group to go on hiatus. In fact, the pair hopes to have a new Rilo Kiley album finished by next year.

"Me and Jenny are still writing some songs together," Sennett tells "We're hoping to have one half of a new album finished real soon, separate and do our own separate things, then come back together and finish it off. We're trying our hardest to keep [Rilo Kiley] together."

The Elected will celebrate the new album's release with shows at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on Jan. 20, Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on Jan. 21 and Crocodile Cafe in Seattle on Jan. 24. A more extensive tour will follow in March and April and will find Sennett flanked by album contributors Mike Bloom (lap steel, harmonica) and Daniel Brummel (bass), plus a drummer and keyboardist.

Although he played on the 2004 Elected set "Me First," Rilo Kiley drummer Jason Boesel does not appear on the new album. Lewis offers harmony vocals on "It was Love" and Stacy DuPree from Eisley helps out on "I'll Be Your Man." Drummer Ryland Steen, who regularly tours with Bright Eyes, plays on all of "Sun, Sun, Sun" but is unable to join the tour.

Sennett's approach to recording was a major change from "Me First" in that "Sun, Sun, Sun" was mostly made on the road, in motel rooms and in the van. The artist credits his love of gear with the surprisingly lush, sophisticated mix.

"I'm a serious gearhead and we brought really good gear with us," he says. "We spent a lot of time sequencing, on horn sections and stacking harmonies."

Sennett describes the album as mostly autobiographical, about "finding someone you really like and then seeing it all go away." Recording what would later become the title track, the 29-year-old songwriter decided it would become representative of the whole effort.

"It's organic and simple. Unpretentious and honest," he says. "It sound really pretty and happy and because of its name it sounds really bright, but underneath, it's really dark. That's where we went with the album, that same direction."