Oakland, California-based singer-songwriter Madeline Kenney has shared “Sucker,” the first single off her newly announced third album Sucker’s Lunch. The new endeavor, featuring vocals from Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, is an elegant affair dancing around an askew guitar, lush synths, and multidimensional harmonies.
Kicking things off with “Sucker” as the introduction song, Kenney comes off with a more nuanced approach. The song feels cautiously put together yet expands upon her intricate methods of vibrant harmonies, layered guitars, and exceptional songwriting found on past outings. “Sucker” displays another side to Kenney’s unwavering artistry with a dynamic rhythmic section and lithe vocals culminating into a restorative development. Propelled by reflective lyrics that tell a story of self-realization, the sonic vibe here elicits deep-in-thought scenarios for listeners at hand. With the united forces of strong lyricism and beautiful melodies by the support Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, “Sucker” places Madeline Kenney into a fortifying sonic territory that speaks to us in any language we desire to hear.
Over email, Kenney says about the making of “Sucker,” "When I lived in Durham, I found myself sitting in the sun on the porch with a musical hero of mine, who was worried about losing their healthcare and not being able to afford to tour. It blew my mind and broke my heart that such a genius had to struggle with uncertainty in trying to make their art. I wrote 'Sucker' when I realized that all of us continue to make art, and fall in love, and attempt things that logically could fall apart at any moment, but we are fools for the game and keep producing, keep pursuing. I asked Kurt Wagner to sing on the track because I feel like he is consistently brave in his songwriting (and I'm a HUGE Lambchop fan). When he sent me the stems, I drank a martini and cried.”
Regarding the track’s accompanying music video, Kenney went on to say, “I'm a huge fan of con-movies; my favorite film is Paper Moon. I wanted to direct a video that put me as the con-man, whose existence relies on making suckers out of passers-by; but ended with me being the biggest loser of all. I lucked out when my favorite Oakland diner, Lois the Pie Queen, let us film on location."
Sucker’s Lunch follows her 2018 sophomore LP Perfect Shapes. Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack produced the forthcoming record that will arrive on July 31 via Carpark Records.