Starting off as a lo-fi, country-influenced indie band, they later transitioned to a poppier, Soul-influenced direction, following Jenny Lewis' voice as it dragged her to her thirties. Additionally, Sennett's role as a singer was drastically reduced (although he sings lead in his side project, The Elected).
The band broke up in 2011, with Lewis going on to a successful solo career.
They released five albums in total:
- Take-Offs and Landings (2001)
- The Execution of All Things (2002): Recorded with Conor Oberst's Saddle Creek Records in Omaha, and it shows.
- More Adventurous (2004)
- Under the Blacklight (2007)
- Rkives (2013): A compilation of B-sides and rarities, including their debut EP from 1999. A well-received product of their amicable breakup.
Tropes Applying To This Band:
- Animal Motifs: "Portions for Foxes".
- As the Good Book Says...: "Portions for Foxes" is titled after a quote from the Bible about wormfood.
- Christmas Cake: Discussed in "X-Mas Cake", leading to an absolutely terrifying conclusion.
- Concept Album: Under the Blacklight, which is about Los Angeles' dark underbelly.
- Deranged Animation: The video for Bulletproof, yikes.
- Ephebophile: The closest trope to "15," which is more or less about what you might expect. Also, from the same song: "Does your daddy have a shotgun?"
- Everybody Smokes: They do the "Smoke Detector," (the song itself is In the Style of... The Beach Boys).
- Friends with Benefits: "Portions for Foxes".
- Gratuitous Spanish: "Dejalo".
- Hidden Track: "And That's How I Choose To Remember It", sort of - It's listed on the back cover of The Execution Of All Things as though it were the last track on the album, but actually it's broken into three parts that are hidden in the pre-gaps of different songs.
- Lampshade Hanging: The move to Saddle Creek was lampshaded in the title track of The Execution of All Things:"Then we'll go to Omaha to work and exploit the booming music scene and humility."
- Last Note Nightmare: Does He Love You? Merciful GOD, Does He Love You?
- Ms. Fanservice: Jenny Lewis became more and more of this as time went on.
- New Sound Album: More Adventurous, when they went major-label and started exploring new directions.
- Shout-Out: More Adventurous is titled after a Frank O'Hara quote.
- Shur Fine Guns: "Accidntel Deth" (sic: Indietronica artist Dntel produced the song) includes at least one instance where the accidental death was of a deer the father of the narrator (who probably isn't Jenny Lewis) had killed when his shotgun went off without him meaning it to (probably because he hit it too hard or something) while hunting with his dad when he was eight. Her dad swears off guns after that.
- Title Track: The Execution of All Things, More Adventurous and Under the Blacklight each have one.
- Take That!: To George W. Bush, in "It's a Hit" (from More Adventurous). She calls him a monkey. Hey, it was 2004, and that incident with the banner was still fresh in everybody's minds, OK?
- Who Wears Short Shorts? / Dangerously Short Skirt: Became a staple of Lewis' stage attire over time, to the point where one blogger facetiously graphed the band's decline in direct correlation with the diminishing length of her pants and/or skirts.
- Younger Than They Look: The girl in "15". The guy (who she met online) mistook her for a "tiny woman".