Home Read Albums Of The Week: Jenny Lewis | Joy’All

Albums Of The Week: Jenny Lewis | Joy’All

Reflecting the songwriting exercises that sparked it, the ex-Rilo Kiley fronter's fifth LP spans sunny California rock, Laurel Canyon folk, artsy indie-pop and plenty more.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Joy’All, the fifth solo album from Jenny Lewis and the followup to 2019’s critically acclaimed On The Line, finds the singer-songwriter embarking on a new era in a new town — and on a new label, as she joins the iconic roster of Blue Note/Capitol Records.

“I started writing some of these songs on the road, pre-pandemic,” Lewis recalls, “and then put them aside as the world shut down. Then, from my home in Nashville in early 2021, I joined a week-long virtual songwriting workshop with a handful of amazing artists, hosted by Beck. The challenge was to write one song every day for seven days, with guidelines from Beck. The guidelines would be prompts like ‘write a song with 1-4-5 chord progression,’ ‘write a song with only cliches,’ or ‘write in free-form style.’ The first song I submitted to the group was Puppy And A Truck.” As the days progressed, the assignments kept coming in and Jenny ended up writing a good portion of Joy’All.

While Joy’All pulls from a bounty of sonic inspiration — from soul to ’90s R&B, as well as country and classic singer-songwriter records — the album’s rich and intimate, live sound is the hallmark of eight-time Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (John Prine, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell), whom Jenny met by chance while visiting Lucius at the historic RCA Studio A in Nashville. A natural kinship developed between the two, and with her arsenal of songs that she had demoed on her iPhone ready to roll, Jenny texted Dave and asked him to produce her new album.

Joy’All is a beacon of enlightenment that could only come from embracing life, taking the good with the bad; it’s a 10-song overture that invites the listener to find their own path to joy.”