Jenny Lewis – “Heads Gonna Roll”

We’ve been waiting a long time for some new Jenny Lewis, and we’re finally getting it. Next month, the former Rilo Kiley leader will release On The Line, her follow-up to 2014’s The Voyager. Five years is a long time to wait, and Jenny Lewis has been working on her new songs for a while; they’ve been live-set staples. But now we’re finally getting to hear the studio versions.

Lewis has already shared “Red Bull & Hennessy,” the album’s first single, and now she’s also letting us hear the album opener “Heads Gonna Roll.” She’s been singing that song for a long time, and she included it in a Prairie Home Companion performance two years ago. But it’s still very cool to hear the sparkling studio version.

“Heads Gonna Roll” is a knowing, incisive triumph of old-school singer-songwriter pop. Ringo Starr, a pretty famous drummer, played drums on the song, while Don Was played bass and Benmont Tench, formerly one of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, played keyboard. The lyrics are vintage Jenny Lewis, specific and evocative and glamorous: “Took a little trip up north in a borrowed convertible red Porsche with a narcoleptic poet from Duluth / And we disagreed about everything from Elliott Smith to Grenadine / He fell asleep, and I put up the roof.”

On The Line is out 3/22 on Warner Bros. Pre-order it here.