ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Rilo Kiley

1.jpg

Rilo Kiley’s song “The Moneymaker,” is about porn. And much of their new album, Under The Blacklight is about s-e-x… play for pay, underage Internet trysts and picking up strangers in bars -- perhaps unsurprising for an L.A. band known for cleverly detailing the despair of the darker side of Tinseltown. But the album -- the band’s fourth album and first major-label release -- is anything but your average candy-coated pseudo-sexy pop romp. And it’s not your average Rilo Kiley album either. It delivers less of what some fans may’ve expected and more of what they didn’t.

Under The Blacklight replaced the band’s signature smoky blues, alt-country pop sound with dance beats. The dancehall mirrorball and the gold lamé curtain descended upon Rilo Kiley, but they couldn’t conceal the band’s signature lyrical despondency and regret. Under The Blacklight, characterized by slick production, disco beats and a gospel choir, also details failed relationships (Lewis and Sennett, as you may also know, shared a famously tumultuous one; they broke up in 2002, right around the release of their sophomore album, The Execution of All Things), unraveled expectations and what happens when Los Angeles' harsh sun sets to reveal the loneliness and isolation of the city and its dark underbelly.

Rilo Kiley’s latest release is a throwback to the last days of disco, and while their style may have changed, their substance has not.

The band recorded their MTV Artist Of The Week spots in and around New York City. Watch them perform "The Moneymaker," check out all of their MTV on-air spots, including "Silver Lining" and "Dreamworld," and catch them all week on MTV.