Years before reinventing herself as one of indie-rock’s most respected songwriters, Jenny Lewis was a child actress – appearing in a number of films (Pleasantville) and TV shows (Roseanne). In a playful nod to her cinematic past, the musician has directed a video for her soulful single “She’s Not Me,” recruiting friends like Fred Armisen and Feist to parody the highlights of her IMDB page.
The clip opens with Lewis in jail, as a “ZMZ” headline reports “Former Child Star Arrested.” The former Rilo Kiley singer then daydreams about her acting history – from “The Gilded Gals” (with Armisen, Vanessa Bayer and Zosia Mamet styled as The Golden Girls) to “Hellville” (with Feist, dressed as a priest, playing air guitar). Elsewhere, toy guns and giant teddy bears appear while Armisen plays a corny sitcom dad. But the true highlight is a fake movie poster for The Voyager, inspired by the cover of Lewis and Fred Savage’s 1989 video game classic, The Wizard.
“The video is about former identities and incarnations of one’s self,” Lewis told BuzzFeed. “It’s a super meta retrospective on my career.”
Last July, Lewis released her third solo LP, The Voyager, which Rolling Stone ranked Number 17 on our list of 2014’s 50 Best Albums. The singer spoke to Rolling Stone Country about the album’s Nashville inspiration, detailing the difficult process of tracking “She’s Not Me.”
“I just went into [co-producer Ryan Adams’ Pax-Am Studio] to record one tune, ‘She’s Not Me,’ which was a song I’d been working on in this Keith Richards-ish open tuning. I couldn’t finish it, so I decided to go over there and cut it with him,” she said. “We put together a band, including Griffin [Goldsmith, of Dawes] on drums and Ryan on guitar. By the end of the day, we’d recorded ‘She’s Not Me’ live, two takes. And I was like, ‘Oh my god, Ryan is kind of a badass producer. And a great guitar player.'”