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jenny lewis and johnathan rice have been collaborating on and off for years, each contributing to the other's solo records and live shows, but with this record they had a different intention: using their two voices in close harmony and playing practically every instrument themselves. the result is an eleven song thirty-five minute blast of whip-smart rock and roll. during hours of downtime on her 'acid tongue' world tour, jenny and johnathan began writing a batch of songs different from anything they had previously created. during a 9 day demo session in la in october 09, helmed by rilo kiley's pierre de reeder, jenny and johnny played as many instruments as possible, right down to the drums, bringing in jason boesel for additional embellishments. the four friends worked lightening fast, had a hell of a lot of fun, and were so happy with the results that lewis and rice decided to start a brand new band and finish the record. in late december the two songwriters packed up a station wagon and drove from los angeles to omaha, nebraska to work with their friend, mike mogis. jenny and johnny hunkered down in mogis' world-class arc studios for five weeks of tracking, vocals,and mixing during the worst midwestern winter since the 1860's. the front door of their guesthouse actually froze shut, so they used an alternate route to get to the studio every day. cut off from the outside world in a blizzard's haze, the record's personality began to emerge. gone were the vintage, classic-rock textures of their previous two albums, and in came a tougher, rougher sound. there's an exuberance in love songs like 'scissor runner' that mask some of the record's darkness, while lewis chronicles the economic demise of her beloved california in 'big wave.' listeners will relish rice's haunting vocal on 'animal' and both songwriters raising a middle-finger kiss off in the acerbic 'my pet snakes.' this is not a rilo kiley record, a jenny lewis record, or a johnathan rice record. this is jenny and johnny. they're having fun now, and they want you to, too.
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