Raised in the Pacific Northwest, the nature of the region is important to songwriter Madeline Kenney. A soil-tethered root to the natural world is subtly noticeable in Kenney’s art. Bare feet, fresh fruit, the brilliant moon. Despite her affinity for the green leaves and the black grass, Kenney has lived rather nomadically, transferring her being and belongings for long stays in the mountains of British Columbia, the islands of Hawaii, and around the globe. She moved to the Bay Area in 2014 to pursue a career in baking. In Oakland, a supportive arts community inspired great growth as a musician. A chance encounter with Company Records label head Chaz Bear (Toro Y Moi) led to them recording the Signals EP together, along with Kenney’s brand-new album, Night Night At The First Landing. An accomplished debut with a cohesive sound, Night Night is a record balanced by serene beauty and cathartic breakdowns. Kenney’s huge voice delivers emotional brushstrokes and unexpected lyrical knots.
It’s fortuitous how her move to a waterside city for a life of pre-dawn kitchen work led to preparations for life on tour and inspired countless hours of music-making. “Everything has felt very accidental,” she says. Though Night Night At The First Landing is technically her first full-length, music has always been a key part of her life. Singing came naturally to the bold-voiced Kenney and she was singing loudly before beginning to study piano at the age of five. To call Night Night At The First Landing a “debut” is something of a misnomer, as those who know Kenney best might note: she’s always made music. For the sake of music lovers, she hopefully always will.