Mo Kenney

The Details

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Nova Scotia-based songwriter Mo Kenney quickly began making waves after appearing on the alt-rock scene with her 2012 debut and its follow-up, 2014's In My Dreams. 2017's The Details is composed of jangly, overdriven guitar, pronounced garage rock percussion, and howling vocal melodies, but the highlight is just how illustrative Kenney's lyrics are. She effectively conveys the feeling of self-reassurance and frustration on "June 3rd" with her double-tracked vocals swimming around the refrain, and disjointed snare drums gradually bringing the song to a close. Some of these aspects wouldn't sound out of place on a doo wop track. "If You’re Not Dead" is reminiscent of Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea-era PJ Harvey. Its punk-infused guitar work and affinity for starting verses with a lone vocal before the rest of the mix kicks back in evokes the somewhat raucous, unafraid-to-tell-you-about-it attitude of Harvey’s classic. "If You're Not Dead" is immediately followed with "Unglued," an uptempo folk-pop number with surf rock-esque guitar leads. However, Kenney doesn’t abandon her penchant for lyrical expression, which is one of her undeniable strengths: painting a picture or a story about various states of anxiety wrapped up in melody-laden, brightly produced, genre-spanning pop/rock that might suggest otherwise if it were purely instrumental.

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