Sucker's Lunch by Madeline Kenney

To record her third long player, Oakland, California-based singer / songwriter Madeline Kenney enlisted the help of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, better known as Baltimore duo, Wye Oak. Judging by the lead single, Sucker, the results of their efforts have produced some quite beautiful sun-dappled indie-folk.

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Sucker's Lunch by Madeline Kenney
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Daoud 13 August 2020

I need to start talking about the music on Madeline Kenney’s third album quickly because if I don’t I’ll get distracted by that very good dog on the front cover. What a good dog! Uh...

‘Sucker’s Lunch’ is a wonderfully rich indie rock record with some of the most inventive and varied arrangements I’ve heard in the genre for a long time. It makes for a lovely listening experience, Kenney’s songwriting is incredibly strong, but it’s the delightful instrumental flourishes that will likely stay with you the longest.

'Jenny' features washes of synth that pulsate throughout the song, as Kenney reaches the chorus they start to become more abrasive, adding intensity to the lyrics; “it feels good to lose my mind again”. ‘Tell You Everything’ features wonderful effervescent guitars and ‘Double Hearted’ has some chaotic marimba that splash about with glee. On ‘Sucker’ she even finds room for Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, whose weary baritone harmonises well with Kenney’s own vocals. That song also features some shining wisps of saxophone which help it to its climax.

For all its playfulness, ‘Sucker’s Lunch’ is often quite a sad record. ‘Picture Of You’ features the line “your mother didn’t know what she was doing but she tried” amidst gentle indie rock backing. ‘White Window Light’ is one of many tracks to feature a melodic guitar solo, though this one stands out for how mournful it is. A choir signals the song's climax, it’s enormous and bright and hopeful.



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