Oakland artist Madeline Kenney bounds toward the unknown on her third album, Sucker's Lunch, expanding on the idea of what a love song could be - a little more cautious than exuberant, more nuanced than blazing devotion. Sonically, the album expands upon Kenney's earlier, guitar-driven sound - a definitive step forward from an artist adept at communicating universal sentiments in a voice unmistakably her own. To help realize her vision, Kenney once again enlisted Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, previous collaborators and friends. Together, the trio carefully constructed the songs in a few compact sessions in Oakland, San Francisco, and Durham. Stack and Wasner's rhythm section trace circles around Kenney's off-kilter guitar, with verdant curls of synths, saxophone, and complex harmonies.
Lambchop's Kurt Wagner lends his distinctive tenor to lead single "Sucker." The resulting songs are immediate and deeply moving, somehow feeling familiar while they defy expectations at every turn.