Madeline Kenney’s last album, her sophomore effort Perfect Shapes, came out in October of 2018. Now, she’s returning with a new one called Sucker’s Lunch, which will be out in July. After having worked with Jenn Wasner on Perfect Shapes, Kenney asked her to produce again, and this time around Wasner’s Wye Oak bandmate Andy Stack joined as well. The three of them worked on the songs in a series of sessions spread out across Durham and Oakland.
Along with the announcement, Kenney has shared a pseudo-title-track called “Sucker,” which also features Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner on background vocals. Here’s what she had to say about the song and its accompanying video:
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.
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.
Much of Sucker’s Lunch finds Kenney trying to write a different kind of love song — processing new love at arm’s length, tentative about going all-in, and trying to communicate the grey areas at the beginnings of things. “Sucker” is a promising first glimpse of the album, a swirling acoustic rumination that is just deeply, deeply pretty. Check it out below.
01 “Sugar Sweat”
02 “Picture Of You”
04 “Tell You Everything”
06 “Double Hearted”
07 “Cut The Real”
08 “Be That Man”
09 “White Window Light”
10 “Sweet Coffee”
Sucker’s Lunch is out 7/31 via Carpark. Pre-order it here.