NPR logo Rilo Kiley's Singer Steps Out With a Wilbury Twist

Rilo Kiley's Singer Steps Out With a Wilbury Twist

Handle With Care

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Friday's Song

  • Song: "Handle with Care"
  • Artist: Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins
  • CD: Rabbit Fur Coat
  • Genre: Indie-Pop

Jenny Lewis traffics in spiky pop and sad country music as leader of Rilo Kiley, and she left a memorable impression as a backing vocalist on "Give Up," the hit debut of electronic duo The Postal Service. Both bands showcase Lewis's flair for bold but relatable confessionals, and Rabbit Fur Coat goes a step further, calling more attention to her thin but expressive vocals by using spare and unobtrusive instrumentation.

Jenny Lewis makes a name for herself, again. hide caption

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On "Handle with Care," the singer tackles The Traveling Wilburys' 1988 hit, in an inspired cover that recasts the original's all-star lineup with modern-day equivalents: Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service) serves as a natural replacement for Roy Orbison, while the world-weary warble of Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst stands in for the world-weary croak of Bob Dylan.

A bit brisker than the original, but without Jeff Lynne's lush production sparkle, this incarnation of "Handle with Care" could even help spark a Wilbury renaissance — both of the band's out-of-print albums are tentatively slated for reissue later this year — when it's not aiding Lewis in her richly deserved rise to stardom.

Listen to yesterday's "Song of the Day."

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