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Madeline Kenney - Sucker's Lunch

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Sucker's Lunch

Madeline Kenney

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A collection of love songs of an uncommon nature tinged with loneliness and self-doubt, Sucker's Lunch is indie songwriter Madeline Kenney's third solo album. It's her second in a row with Jenn Wasner co-producing. Unlike 2018's Perfect Shapes, however, they are joined here by Wasner's Wye Oak bandmate, Andy Stack. Several other guests contributed performances to the recording's expansive sound, though it remains intimate and searching in nature. One such guest, Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, lends vocals to "Sucker," an album highlight whose unhurried, reflective feel takes on a sweet, affectionate tone from the intro's gentle strummed guitar and piano chords, dancing bass line, and playful lead guitar melody. When Kenney's voice enters, she's shadowed by Wagner, but only on certain phrases. She harmonizes herself on lines like the repeated "Go on ahead without me." (Stephen Steinbrink, Boy Scouts' Taylor Vick, and Olivia Gerber join Kenney and Wye Oak later, on "White Window Light.") The dreamier "Picture of You" maintains the midtempo pace of most of the album but adds shimmery keyboards and echoing guitar between vocals that themselves are doubled and reverbed as lyrics yearn to travel through time. Occasional songs -- "Jenny" and "Double Hearted" -- are more up-tempo and rhythmically hooky, but Sucker's Lunch stays anchored in rumination and uncertainty. "Sweet Coffee" is perhaps the album's most experimental as well as most defiant entry. It closes the record on a spare, clanging ballad replete with ominous noise effects, perhaps "drowning in the could be." If there's no happy ending for the heroine, the album still satisfies with its artful balance of meditation and catharsis.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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Sucker's Lunch

Madeline Kenney

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1
Sugar Sweat
00:02:02

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

2
Picture of You
00:04:03

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

3
Jenny
00:03:42

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

4
Tell You Everything
00:03:10

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

5
Sucker
00:04:43

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

6
Double Hearted
00:02:54

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

7
Cut the Real
00:03:21

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

8
Be That Man
00:04:38

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

9
White Window Light
00:04:19

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

10
Sweet
00:03:32

Madeline Kenney, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Carpark Records 2020 Carpark Records

Album Description

A collection of love songs of an uncommon nature tinged with loneliness and self-doubt, Sucker's Lunch is indie songwriter Madeline Kenney's third solo album. It's her second in a row with Jenn Wasner co-producing. Unlike 2018's Perfect Shapes, however, they are joined here by Wasner's Wye Oak bandmate, Andy Stack. Several other guests contributed performances to the recording's expansive sound, though it remains intimate and searching in nature. One such guest, Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, lends vocals to "Sucker," an album highlight whose unhurried, reflective feel takes on a sweet, affectionate tone from the intro's gentle strummed guitar and piano chords, dancing bass line, and playful lead guitar melody. When Kenney's voice enters, she's shadowed by Wagner, but only on certain phrases. She harmonizes herself on lines like the repeated "Go on ahead without me." (Stephen Steinbrink, Boy Scouts' Taylor Vick, and Olivia Gerber join Kenney and Wye Oak later, on "White Window Light.") The dreamier "Picture of You" maintains the midtempo pace of most of the album but adds shimmery keyboards and echoing guitar between vocals that themselves are doubled and reverbed as lyrics yearn to travel through time. Occasional songs -- "Jenny" and "Double Hearted" -- are more up-tempo and rhythmically hooky, but Sucker's Lunch stays anchored in rumination and uncertainty. "Sweet Coffee" is perhaps the album's most experimental as well as most defiant entry. It closes the record on a spare, clanging ballad replete with ominous noise effects, perhaps "drowning in the could be." If there's no happy ending for the heroine, the album still satisfies with its artful balance of meditation and catharsis.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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