As Rilo Kiley's timid guitarist and sometimes singer/songwriter, it's been difficult for the Elected's Blake Sennett to deviate from the name of his ex-lover/band mate/overall rock goddess Jenny Lewis. So whenever he isn't being regarded as that kid who played Pinsky on Nickelodeon's early '90s series Salute Your Shorts or as the lackey in Boy Meets World, he's usually known as that-guy-that-sometimes-sings-in-Rilo-Kiley-(oh-and-I-think-he-dated-Jenny-Lewis—oh-my-GOD-she's-awesome/so-hot!).
Sennett's side project to Rilo Kiley, the Elected received a halfhearted welcoming from most fans with their first album, Me First—it seemed a little too similar to that beloved Rilo Kiley sound, just sans the sticky sweet vocals of Lewis. But thankfully, the Elected's follow-up, Sun, Sun, Sun, just released in January by indie powerhouse—and home to many other side-project bands—Sub Pop, makes more of an audible attempt to stray away from such comparisons. Exhibiting more of a western influence this time around, Sun, Sun, Sun is a schmaltzy 14-song melodic experience, perhaps the perfect soundtrack to, uh, hiking in the Sierras or, the more likely alternative, sipping your Starbucks on a Sunday morning while cruising down PCH with all the windows down.
Sennett's vocals have been oft-compared to the late, great Elliott Smith, and his occasional grandiose choruses and ornate introductions compared to those of former labelmate Conor Oberst—but at least this time around, the Elected has succeeded in further distancing themselves from Rilo Kiley with such easily likeable, dreamy tracks as "Did Me Good" as well as the slide-guitar goodness of "The Bank and Trust." With the Elected's steady progression upward and away from any familiarities, Sun, Sun, Sun may just be their chance to outshine Rilo Kiley.
The Elected with the 88 and more at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (714) 647-7704; www.theglasshouse.us. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $12. All ages.
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