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“Unglued” #47 in CBC Radio 3’s top 103 Canadian indie songs of 2017


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The Coast: Voices Carry


Mo Kenney, Gabrielle Papillon and Jessie Brown make the personal the priority on the year’s best records.

Mo Kenney, Gabrielle Papillon and Jessie Brown. [Photo by Meghan Tansey Whitton]

By Tara Thorne, The Coast

Mo Kenney is reserved and unassuming, a quietly quick wit. She saves it for the stage, as the saying goes—her demeanour is not one of meekness or deference to any of the men in her band, but of a measured confidence that borders on laconic until she leans into her guitar, a 1965 Mustang she had painted powder-blue. Her playing evokes all the cheesy guitar words—”rips,” “shreds,” “wails”—but really it’s astonishingly dexterous and decidedly modest.
On September 29 Kenney released The Details, her third album with Joel Plaskett producing, and it is something new for her—scrappier and more electric, but also weirder. There are 14 songs; only two creep past three minutes, and five are under two minutes, punk-style.

“There’s a lot of records that have short songs like that, that I really like; that it kind of transports me to a different world, it’s not just like regular songs all the way through,” she says over a beer, flagging Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand and Seth Smith’s New Problems as examples.

She demoed most of the songs—some have a Sufjan Stevens-like voice-memo quality—before heading into The New Scotland Yard with Plaskett last year. “I’m not comfortable that easily with people,” she says, “so it’s nice to feel comfortable doing that, something so personal.” [READ MORE]

Le Canal Auditif reviews The Details


By Jean-Simon Fabien, Le Canal Auditif

Mine de rien, la petite Mo nous présente son troisième album, The Details, elle que nous avons découvert fragile et menue en 2012 avec un premier effort écorché et dépouillé.
Principalement acoustique, ce premier disque compilait les échecs d’adolescente de Mo alors qu’elle mettait des paroles sur ses premières compositions. On l’a découvert alors qu’elle cherchait des réponses sur la vie d’adulte qu’elle expérimentait : l’amitié, l’amour et l’angoisse. Le tout avait été sobrement enregistré et produit par Joel Plaskett, complice de la première heure de Mo. Déjà, on était sous le charme de sa voix, de sa fragilité et de son humour noir.
Son deuxième album était prudent textuellement, mais intégrait davantage d’instruments et une dynamique de groupe entre Mo et ses musiciens.
The Details achève cette transformation. Mo est maintenant la chanteuse et guitariste assumée de son band et elle n’a plus à rougir de ses influences ou encore de ses textes à haute teneur en émotions. On la sent plus à l’aise de s’affirmer au chant, une guitare électrique entre les mains. On The Roof qui lance véritablement ce nouvel album, après la comique intro We Have A Cat, en témoigne. Mo y va même un refrain à la Emily Haines à la belle époque de Metric. La grosse basse de Video Game Music et sa puissante mélodie est un autre bon exemple. [READ MORE]

The Details

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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

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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.
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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.

Tour

June 23rd, 2018
River Landing Amphitheater
Saskatoon, SK
Saskatoon Pride Festival - Loud & Proud Main Stage
5:45 PM
Mo Kenney with Anna Haverstock
June 26th, 2018
The Aviary
Edmonton, AB
7:00 PM
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June 28th, 2018
Commonwealth Bar & Stage
Calgary, AB
8:00 PM
18+ Show
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June 30th, 2018
Truro Civic Square
Truro, NS
7:00 PM
Mo Kenney with Alert The Medic and Joel Plaskett Emergency
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July 1st, 2018
Alderney Landing Outdoor Stage
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Mo Kenney Band - Canada Day
7:30 PM
Free Canada Day Event
More info @ hrmcanadaday.ca
July 6th, 2018
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Workshop - - 1974 Albums
11:30 AM
Spruce Hollow
Micah Erenberg, Mick Flannery, Mo Kenney, Harrow Fair, and We Banjo 3
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July 7th, 2018
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Workshop - Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves
11:30 AM
Spruce Hollow
Mo Kenney, Gaelynn Lea , Jadea Kelly, and Lanikai
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July 8th, 2018
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Workshop - The Kids Are Alright
11:30 AM
Green Ash
Mappe Of, Gabrielle Shonk, Mo Kenney, Mick Flannery, and Boniface
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July 8th, 2018
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Little Stage - Performance
4:30 PM
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July 12th, 2018
Brasserie Beaubien Ltee
Montreal, QC
9:00 PM
With support Sylvia Wrath
18+ Show
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July 21st, 2018
Eastern Shore Recreation Centre
Musqudoboit Harbour, NS
Trunk 7 Music Festival - Songwriters Circle
12:00 PM
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August 1st, 2018
Frolic'n Folk Pub and Grill
Iona, NS
8:00 PM
19+ Show
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August 25th, 2018
Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
(Sold Out Show) Supporting Joel Plaskett Emergency
8:00 PM
19+ Show
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