Night Night At The First Landing
Reviewed by Lauren Rosier
Despite playing music since a young age, the Seattle-bred Madeline Kenney, it wasn’t a career she immediately pursued. After earning a degree in neuroscience, she then moved to the Bay Area to pursue a career as a professional baker, while also painting and dancing. Following her move to Oakland, she quickly found herself immersed in the arts community, and started writing songs again that paved the way for her debut LP, Night Night At The First Landing.
After discovering Kenney via a different music site or Spotify playlist, I was quickly intrigued by the critical acclaim from said music outlets. However, after my first listen, I wasn’t sure about this record. After several plays, the true brilliance of Kenney’s musicianship and songwriting shone through quite brightly.
The record is bookended with the ethereal, ambient guitars and dreamy chanting of “Don’t Forget // There’s Room” that piques the curiosity for the remainder of the album, and on “Give Up // On Anything”. You’ll also hear that midway through the record on “This Way // You’re Happy”.
Kenney channels the indie pop/folk of Rilo Kiley (now defunct) frontwoman, Jenny Lewis; on “Rita”, thick guitars and minimalistic beauty intersect; and on “Always”, where modern indie rock meets flecks of ‘90’s guitar work, as she sings “how does it feel/to have to always be turned on”.
On “Witching Hour”, Kenney blends guitars that span both ends of the spectrum, from heavy to ambient and dream-like. Her dreamy vocals soar over beautiful, dense guitars (“Big One”) and sings sweetly “there’s something so good/about coming home late/and find you waiting for me”.
For a 26-year-old, up and coming musician, Madeline Kenney, is the real deal. Night Night is an incredible, highly ambitious debut that delivers from start to finish.
Label: Company Records
(Madeline is currently on tour supporting her release, you can catch her at either the Trans-Pecos in NYC on 9/19 or DC9 Nightclub in DC on 9/20)