Menu

News

Grayowl Point: One-on-One Mo Kenney


By Ava Muir, Grayowl Point

On The Details, Mo Kenney is as honest as she’s ever been. The Nova Scotian’s third record, vividly documents the ebb and flow of mental illness, relationships and addiction. Just as rapidly as The Details finds Kenney declining, it picks her back up and dusts her off, enveloping both songwriter and listener in hope. Behind Kenney’s candid lyrics lies power, humour and sharp wit. “I think that being super blunt is kind of funny,” she says about her lyrical style. The Details’ opening track “Cat’s Not a Cake” serves as a perfect kickoff to the emotional journey – both devastatingly frank and undeniably clever. “When we breakup, we’ll have to split him in half,” Kenney croons, as if the failing couple could share their pet like he was dessert. It’s brash, relatable and over in less than 40 seconds. Straight to the point in true Kenney fashion.

Co-producing the intimate record alongside longtime friend and collaborator Joel Plaskett came naturally. “I was really proud of the work that I had done on this record, all of the songs that I brought to him and he really helped bring them to life in the best way possible,” Kenney says fondly. “That’s what he always does, I find. I love working with him and he’s a good friend of mine now which is really crazy because I was a huge fan of his when I was a teenager. To have him as a mentor when it comes to music has been extremely, extremely helpful.”

As Kenney and I chat over the phone one Thursday evening, we easily find common ground in our respective battles with mental illness and our conversation regarding the struggle of battling against yourself develops with ease.

You started writing The Details when you were going through a really hard time. Can you tell me about what your life was like at the time that you began writing The Details?

I’ve struggled with depression my whole life and I had a really bad few years when I was a teenager and went to therapy and got it under control. I stopped going to therapy when I was, like, 17 or 18 and just started getting really depressed again. In 2015, I noticed that it was getting kind of shitty and hard to deal with and it was affecting my life. I had a hard time. I was sort of just trying to grin and bear it but I decided to go back to therapy in the summer of 2015 and it totally helped me a bunch. I wish I had gone earlier.

I struggle with depression and anxiety myself and am looking to get into therapy. Is it something that you would recommend?

Oh man, I recommend it. It’s so great. It gives you so much more insight into what’s going on with you and getting to talk to somebody and getting it explained is really helpful. It makes it seem a lot less daunting. You feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel when you go talk to somebody. That’s my experience, anyway.

I think it’s important to have someone that you can talk to who’s an outside party.

Exactly. Someone who isn’t biased. Sometimes you don’t want to be as honest about what’s going on in your life with your friends and family. It’s easier to talk to a stranger really openly and honest about my life because they don’t really care – I’m not going to hang out with them or anything. It’s nice.

Did the writing of this album start naturally while you were struggling or was it after you started going back to therapy and were feeling a bit clearer in your head?[READ MORE]

Mo talks to Beehive Candy about “On The Roof”


By Beehive Candy

Background – This is the year that Mo Kenney plugs in, quite literally. Known for her smooth vocals and fearless lyrics, the Canadian singer releases the fast-paced On The Roof, due December 8th, & taken from new album The Details.

Mo has released two records with long-time producer and Canadian rock mentor Joel Plaskett since 2012. With her third album, Mo comes fully and completely into her own as an artist; she swaps her trademark acoustic guitar for a Fender Mustang, tracing her own strange, devastating, and ultimately hopeful trip through the trials and tribulations of booze-fuelled breakdowns, clouds of depression, and disintegrating relationships.

“I began writing “On The Roof” during a solo tour in the US. I had a day off in Syracuse, NY, and wrote the chorus for the song that day. When I sit and think of all the negative things in the world it can get me down, because there’s a lot of it. I go down that wormhole often, as I’m sure a lot of people do. The song is about being in that mindset and not being able to shake it. ” Mo Kenney

On each of The Details’ 14 tracks Mo unflinchingly confronts her annihilation and eventual redemption, leaving nothing out. Combining elements of bruising rock ’n’ roll, vivid psychedelia, and haunting, left-of-the-dial pop, Kenney navigates the darkest waters in her life with self deprecation, genuine soul baring, and typical black humour. [READ MORE]

With Guitars: Poetic & Punky – Mo Kenney Releases New Single On The Roof


By Christopher Brown, With Guitars

This is the year that Mo Kenney plugs in, the Canadian singer releases the new fast paces single On The Roof taken from album The Details.

Combining elements of bruising rock ’n’ roll, vivid psychedelia, and haunting, left-of-the-dial pop, Kenney navigates the darkest waters in her life with self deprecation, genuine soul baring, and typical black humour with the self-destructive drive of On The Roof exploding out of the gate with blistering intensity.

With her third album, The Details, Mo comes fully and completely into her own as an artist; she swaps her trademark acoustic guitar for a Fender Mustang, tracing her own strange, devastating, and ultimately hopeful trip through the trials and tribulations of booze-fuelled breakdowns, clouds of depression, and disintegrating relationships.

The Details

Follow on Spotify


1. Cat’s Not A Cake
2. On The Roof
3. Details
4. June 3rd
5. Maybe I Am
6. Counting
7. Out The Window
8. If You’re Not Dead
9. Unglued
10. I Can’t Wait
11. Video Game Music
12. Lights Out
13. Punchy
14. Feelin’ Good

View all albums

Bio

With her third album, The Details, Mo Kenney traces her own strange, devastating, and ultimately hopeful trip through the trials and tribulations of booze-fuelled breakdowns, clouds of depression, and disintegrating relationships. On each of its 14 tracks, she unflinchingly confronts her annihilation and eventual redemption, leaving nothing out. The concept album is her most personal and cohesive work to date—combining elements of bruising rock ’n’ roll, vivid psychedelia, and haunting, left-of-the-dial pop, Kenney navigates the darkest waters in her life with self-deprecation, genuine soul-baring, and typical black humour. It opens with a calm before the storm as the eerie sadness of “Cat’s Not a Cake”—about splitting a beloved pet in half as a relationship falls apart—provides a deceptively gentle beginning to a ride that swiftly steers into self-destruction.

Following up with the off-the-rails overdrive of “On The Roof,” The Details explodes out of the gate, finding Kenney unable to escape the dangerous spiral she finds herself in. Before and during writing the album, Kenney was en route to rock bottom: depressed with dark blues and drinking like a fish, unable to hold herself or her relationships together, alienating the people she loves, and living hell-bent on oblivion. She comes to terms with her own toxic behaviour while channeling the late Elliott Smith through spectral atmospheres on “June 3rd.” With “Maybe I Am”—a reverb-soaked tune that turns to punchy guitar riffs—she realizes in the midst of trying to hook up with someone that she can’t interact with humans properly. The hazy, laid back calm of “Counting” finds her worried she’s fallen so far into despair that she’s losing her mind. And the vicious, rollicking “If You’re Not Dead” shows her playing warped mind games over feral guitar solos and biting hooks.

Somewhere along the way, Kenney finds herself dazed and broken in a place that not many people find their way back from. “Unglued,” with its breezy sway, is likely the most summery song put to tape about being fed up with your own messy self. “I Can’t Wait” recalls the gauzy dreamscapes of Yo La Tengo with a hushed and grateful understanding that as bad as things are, it’s not the end of the world. But it’s not necessarily smooth sailing from there, as Kenney struggles to stay optimistic with “Lights Out,” and sings about getting clocked in the face at a bar by some meathead during “Punchy.” Still, she can’t help but find the hilarity in getting slugged, slyly laughing through her bloody teeth the whole time.

Finally, she arrives in less troubled seas, closing softly on the sparse, clear-minded “Feelin’ Good.” The storms weathered to get there may be the kind that leave lasting scars (or at least a few post-bar stitches), but with clear skies on the horizon, Kenney wears those scars as a reminder of what she’s been through, and the kind of seasons in hell she’s capable of enduring. Her latest is a record of all those storms and the routes and detours and trials of pushing through them while keeping her sense of humour gracefully intact. By turns rowdy, reflective, brave, funny, and deeply honest, it signals an already accomplished songwriter coming fully and completely into her own as an artist. Produced by Mo Kenney and Joel Plaskett, The Details vividly documents Kenney’s fight to survive her own worst enemy—herself.

Read More

Tour

December 31st, 2017
Market Square Boardwalk
Saint John, New Brunswick
Market Square New Year's Eve
6:30 PM
January 18th, 2018
Amigos Cantina
Saskatoon, SK
10:00 PM
With Special Guest Too Soon Monsoon
Licensed +19 Show
Buy Tickets
January 20th, 2018
The Exchange
Regina, SK
Winterruption 2018 - Mo Kenney Band
8:00 PM
With Megan Nash and Lindi Ortega
Buy Tickets
January 27th, 2018
Carr Gallery - Willard Arts Center
Idaho Falls, ID
7:30 PM
Buy Tickets
February 3rd, 2018
The Tooth & Claw
Inverness
7:00 PM
Minimum Age: 18
Buy Tickets
February 4th, 2018
Aberdeen Lemon Tree Studio
Aberdeen, Aberdeen City, Scotland
7:30 PM
Buy Tickets
February 6th, 2018
Sheffield Cafe #9
Sheffield
7:30 PM
Buy Tickets
February 7th, 2018
Green Note
London
Buy Tickets
February 8th, 2018
The Continental
Preston
Special Guest to Orphan Colours
8:00 PM
Buy Tickets
February 10th, 2018
Exeter Phoenix
Exeter, Devon
7:30 PM
Buy Tickets
February 11th, 2018
The Castle
Manchester, GB
7:30 PM
Buy Tickets

Video

Mailing List