After tours of duty as a child star, frontwoman for indie band Rilo Kiley, and backing vocalist for Ben Gibbard's electronic sensation the Postal Service, red-headed fashion maven Jenny Lewis has stepped out on her own. Well, sort of. Rabbit Fur Coat
, Lewis' "solo" debut with the Watson Twins, finds the singer and her raven-haired backing duo exploring an Americana sound reminiscent of early Rilo Kiley. The Watsons add the unexpected pleasure of old-school-soul backing vocals, à la the Shirelles. The off-kilter lyricism that Lewis employed with Kiley is also present throughout Rabbit Fur Coat
. Expect tales of spiritual depravity, broken hearts, and down-and-out relatives -- all accented by Lewis' torchy, childlike contralto. The ironic, overtly political "Rise Up With Fists" moseys along like a summer breeze, while the melancholic lost love song "Melt Your Heart " is barely a whisper. Fans of early Neko Case should not miss her.