Mo Kenney in the UK

Mo in The Scottish Metro

Mo - The UniterBy Roger Crow, The Scottish Metro

It’s three years since Mo Kenney burst onto an unsuspecting world with her eponymous debut album. And as every seasoned music fan knows, that inaugural release usually contains decades of emotion, creative energy and the sort of creative spark worthy of a November 5 celebration.

Debut albums, in theory, are easy. Capturing that lightning in a bottle again? Well that’s something else. But you don’t want to read about ‘difficult second album syndrome’. That’s an issue more exhausted than a marathon runner at the finishing line.

Instead, you may be wondering: ‘Who is this Mo Kenney person, and why should I hand over my hard earned cash at her pending gigs in Kinross, Glasgow and Edinburgh?’

Hailing from Nova Scotia, the Canadian singer, songwriter, guitarist and performer won acclaim and awards plenty for her mix of folk and pop.

Spreading her sound to the masses, she traversed Canada with Ron Sexsmith and mentor Joel Plaskett, gracing key festivals in Iceland, England, Australia and across her home country.

Good friends with our own songstress Rachel Sermanni, they toured the UK for six weeks last year, so her latest gigs in this neck of the woods shouldn’t be too much of a culture shock.

UK fans have had to wait almost a year longer than overseas listeners for the follow up project, but new album In My Dreams should contain elements of the same DNA as her breakthrough work; the fingerprints of Canadian rocker Plaskett are all over this like some sort of benign musical crime scene, but it’s also possible to trace hints of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

At 25, she already has 14 years of guitar experience under her belt, so if you want to hear one of the freshest sounds in town, pick a venue and enjoy.

FATEA reviews In My Dreams

By Leah Parker-Turnock, FATEA

coverIt’s not often an aspiring artist has a famous popular musician come to talk to their class about their craft, it’s even fewer who later get a call-back to say that they are recommending their label sign them up…that however is precisely what happened to the young Canadian singer-songwriter Mo Kenney when East Coast rock icon, Joel Plaskett, paid a visit to her school. Plaskett played a big part in recording Kenney’s lauded debut album Mo Kenney, her second album, In My Dreams, will be released on September 04, a year after its Canadian appearance; again Plaskett is a major contributor playing drums, base and organ on an album cut in his new studio, New Scotland Yard, Nova Scotia.

Who knows why Canada produces so many great female singer-songwriters but Kenney is up there with them all, even if she appears an elfin waif beside the likes of KD Laing. Her insightful and occasionally lacerating lyrics, her tunefulness and her finger-picking guitar perhaps place her in a bracket with the very British Laura Marling.

The album opens with ‘I Faked It’, one of three songs co-written with Plaskett. The lightness of the delivery seems at odds with the meanness of the words until you realise she really just didn’t care – the disregard for the other’s feelings is carried as lightly as the song! The tables are turned on the title track when it’s the songwriter herself who is wistfully wondering whether the relationship matters or even exists.

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“In My Dreams” is now available in the UK, Germany and Ireland!

“I’m coming back, and I can’t wait.” – Mo

 “…an album of grace, power and insight.” -Laura Thomas, Kemptation

“Folk, pop, scuzzy rock – she is clearly poised and ready to pounce.” -Tony Clayton-Lea, The Irish Times

“New Zealand has Lorde – the UK has Foxes – and the U.S. has Lana Del Rey……Canada’s response to this trend of strong female singer-songwriters is the irresistibly beautiful, Mo Kenney.” -Craig Roxburgh, Mind Equals Blown

Purchase “In My Dreams” here:

Tour Dates:

September 8th- Kinross, Scotland- The Green Hotel

September 9th- Glasgow, Scotland- Hug and Pint

September 10th- Edinburgh, Scotland- Sneaky Pete’s

September 12th- Sheffield, England- Cafe No.9

September 14th- Leeds, England- Gaslight Club/ Oporto Leeds

September 15th- Dalston, London- Servant Jazz Quarters

September 18th- Ballydehob, Ireland- Levis

September 19th- Clonakilty, Ireland- Clonakilty International Guitar Festival

September 20th- Clonakilty, Ireland- Clonakilty International Guitar Festival

September 22nd- Dublin, Ireland- Whelan’s

September 30th- Ingolstadt, Germany- Der Herbst ist eine Frau

October 4th- Berlin, Germany – Privatclub

October 5th- Hamburg, Germany- Nochtspeicher

October 6th- Leipzig, Germany- Moritzbastei

October 7th- Stuttgart, Germany- Cafe Galao

October 9th- Freiburg im Breisgau- Jazzhaus Freiburg

Kemptation reviews In My Dreams


By Laura Thomas

Released 4 September 2015 via New Scotland Records

Mo Kenney is a 25-year-old singer songwriter from Nova Scotia, much lauded in the Maritimes who with her mentor, the iconic Canadian musician Joel Plasket, has produced an album of grace, power and insight. More than just another “girl with a guitar”, the elfin and androgynous Kenney combines aching vulnerability with world-weary cynicism. She reminds at times of the uncomfortable parables and metaphors of Tom Waits or New Young crossed with a modern girl’s savvy wit. But Kenney is not comfortable with comparisons with other artists.

‘I can’t think of a specific artist who has influenced my lyrics,’ she tells Kemptation, ‘but Elliott Smith has definitely had a big impact on my guitar playing.’

When pressed about her inspiration she tells us: ‘I tend to write from personal experience, or at least that’s usually my starting point when I’m writing a song.’

The tone of this album, her second, is set by its opening track, Faked It, as we hear her husky blues-tinged voice sing unaccompanied over its opening lines. It’s a mellow rocker with a bitter heart and tells of Kenney’s apparently cold-blooded seduction and betrayal of a lover.

‘I was lying through my teeth

When I said it wouldn’t hurt

There was not a chance in hell

That was ever going to work’

But despite her startling honesty, one is drawn to love Kenney, to take her side. She tells no lies. She is painfully and completely honest at all times.

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