While Jenny Lewis is using her solo album to simplify her music, her co-leader in Rilo Kiley, Blake Sennett, is moving in the opposite direction with his side project, the Elected.
It began as a spare-time, homemade project with no particular aim for release, but it eventually grew into an album of minimalist California folk-pop called "Me First," and Seattle's Sub Pop label put it out in 2004.
On the follow-up, "Sun, Sun, Sun," out Tuesday, Sennett and his Elected partner Mike Bloom have created a grand, richly produced landscape of classic-rock strains. Sennett supplements his Gram Parsons and Elliott Smith elements with arrangements that evoke the Eagles, the Grateful Dead and the Beatles.
"Yeah, I kind of grew up with a mom who was an overactive player of that early '70s smooth rock, and I guess it's in my consciousness," says Sennett, 29. "It seemed like a fun sound to explore. I love the sounds of those records. I stopped just short of the Bee Gees....