Madeline Kenney: Songs that Make Me Want to Try Harder at Everything

Madeline Kenney: Songs that Make Me Want to Try Harder at Everything

Madeline Kenney released her record Night Night at the First Landing at the beginning of the month, via her producer Toro Y Moi’s label Company Records. Today, she shares with TIDAL some songs that make her want to be a better musician.

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Cass McCombs, “Petrified Forest”
First of all, the chord progression in this song is so beautiful but so simple. Classy. Secondly, the heart in the lyrics tears me up; I want to just sit in a shed for weeks until I can write lyrics like this.

George Harrison, “All Things Must Pass (Demo)”
I love the studio version of this song, but the demo is so lackadaisical and inspiring.

Chad VanGaalen, “Phantom Anthills”
I can’t believe this record is almost 10 years old. So many solid jams, and the percussive sounds and samples at the beginning make me want to get better at editing.

Palm, “Shadow Expert”
This band rules, and makes me realize that I really should practice my guitar more. Best live show I’ve seen in a minute.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, “Vanessa from Queens”
I often look to Stephen Malkmus for inspiration in writing lyrics that are both heartfelt and funny. This song hits all the marks for me.

Cat Power, “Nude as the News”
So much angst and power in her voice here, and the production is so simple. I sing this very loudly along with the CD by myself in my car.

Built to Spill, “Center of the Universe “
Hearing this album for the first time is like waking up from a dream.

LVL UP,  ”I Feel Extra-Natural”
This song references a song I also love by the Silver Jews. LVL UP played this when we played a show together, and I had this a-ha moment and immediately wanted to turn inward and write better. The guitar tones are like salted butter on stale bread, and I’m in love.

Amanaz, “Khala My Friend”
We should all give this much of ourselves to a song and a friendship.

The Sundays, “Here’s Where the Story Ends”
The singer in this band performs with such abandon, yet has perfect control of her incredible voice. Definitely sing-in-the-car material. Warming-up-before-a-gig-material.

Cocteau Twins, “Rilkean Heart”
Supposedly this song is about Jeff Buckley. Either way, it’s a perfect melody.

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