Oakland-based singer/songwriter Madeline Kenney has announced a new album called Sucker’s Lunch, set to arrive on July 31 via Carpark Records. The news is accompanied by the lead single “Sucker” and a music video, which you can watch below. Her new album features production by Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack.
“Sucker,” which features guest vocals by Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, contains more of Kenney’s signature vocal drops (which appeared all over her lush 2018 album Perfect Shapes) and a woozy guitar-pop sound that she does better than just about anyone else. The song occasionally veers into slacker-rock, which is a fitting sound for a song with lyrics like “But when it’s all said and done / I’ll make another / pour my seventh cup of coffee / I’m the sucker.” Maybe she’s a “sucker” to herself, but to the listener, Kenney sounds as poised as ever.
In the “Sucker” video, Kenney’s confident character bamboozles unsuspecting passers-by into giving her coffee money. Here’s what she had to say about the new song and her inspiration for the video (filmed pre-quarantine, of course):
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.
Again, you can watch the video for “Sucker” below. If you like what you hear, pre-order Sucker’s Lunch right here. Keep scrolling to watch Madeline Kenney’s 2018 Paste Studio session. Further down, find the Sucker’s Lunch album art.
Sucker’s Lunch Album Art: