Gina Vaynshteyn
May 26, 2015 3:18 pm

Our queen of contemporary Los Angeles folk rock and wearer of fab rainbow suits, Jenny Lewis, has been on tour since her latest album Voyager came out last July. And it’s been incredible. If you’ve seen Lewis live, then you know how much awesome energy, California sun-kissed intensity, and feeling goes into each show.

Then there’s Lewis’ discography which is flawless (including the Rilo Kiley era, because duh), but there’s one person who thinks the singer could use a little bit of fine-tuning:  SNL‘s Vanessa Bayer. In her show Sound Advice, Bayer takes on the role of alter-ego Janessa Slater and gives musicians A+ coaching (see also: kind of terrible, hilarious couching). Jenny Lewis is her latest guest.

In this session with Jenny Lewis, Janessa alerts Lewis that her somber song-writing might need a bit of a smile. “I’ve listened to several of your albums, and I’m just wondering . . . Why won’t you cheer up?” Janessa asks. For some background info: The Voyager was an especially emotional and difficult album for Lewis to write. After Rilo Kiley split up in 2011, she’s battled the loss of her father, insomnia, and depression — and it ended up taking her six years to write a new solo album (Acid Tongue came out in 2008). But the resulting album, The Voyager, is the rawest, most honest compilation of empowering folk songs that represent only the deepest part of Lewis’ core.

“I’m actually feeling pretty good,” Lewis responds, unperturbed by Janessa’s quirky observation. “In general, positivity, Bob Marley and all that.” Janessa doesn’t know who Bob Marley is (but don’t worry, she’ll look him up on Hotmail).

Janessa segues into Lewis’ past by bringing up her former group — not Rilo Kiley, but Troop Beverly Hills! “How are the gals?” Janessa asks Lewis. “I haven’t seen them in many years . . . Although my sister bumped into Shelley Long in a supermarket and got her number.” Um, awesome.

And when it came time to talking about Lewis’ struggles writing a new album between Acid Tongue and The Voyager, Janessa broke the ice by saying, “So, there was a six-year span between when you released your last solo-album Acid Tongue and your more recent one, The Voyager. What were you doing in that time besides shopping at thrift stores for vintage dresses?”

The two also talked about the real meaning behind “Just One of the Guys,” Lewis’ first single off of The Voyager and why it’s so powerful (and apparently very, very emotional for Janessa).

Check out the full clip here, and prepare to laugh!

Image via YouTube

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