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Forever young: Madeline Kenney performs at Gasa Gasa Sept. 25 

The singer-songwriter’s Night Night at the First Landing is out now

"I feel young," Madeline Kenney sings on the opening title track of her first offering, 2016's Signals EP. Then, for emphasis, once more, this time with gusto: "I feel young!" As melodically assured as it is rhythmically adventurous, the buzzing four-song beacon is a remarkably strong beginning — both in terms of a record and a recording career — but by the final track ("Make Like I'm") she seems to have changed her tune, betraying the simmering uncertainty lurking under the rolling boil of youth. "Lately I'm thinkin' of runnin' / All of the things that are comin'," she counters thoughtfully, softly at first, then with the same open-throated crescendo as before, finally belting her way into a Sisyphean hook, fully confident in its lack of confidence: "I make like I'm makin' it / But it feels like I'm fakin' it." It's all prologue to Night Night at the First Landing, out this month on Company Records (run by Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bear, who serves as producer). The album is a shining constellation that crosses orbits with Jenn Wasner's twin virtues (Wye Oak/Flock of Dimes), Julianna Barwick's round-robin loops and, occasionally, elegantly wonky indie rock a la Pavement and Animal Collective. On Signals, she excelled at "talking shit" and "going home with a fat lip." With this overwhelmingly affirming debut LP, she mostly sticks to encouragements, as on side closers "This Way / You're Happy" and "Give Up / On Anything," which layer their titles into heaping self-helpings of gorgeous joy. Beneath the planetarium arrangements and tumbling-guitar connective tissue, Kenney's lyrical couplets are like found objects peaking out of the retreating tide. "Waitless" opens with a typically measured, awesomely metered and detailed scene, more proof her youth was wasted on no one: "There's something so good about coming home late and finding you waiting for me / In my apartment I hear all my neighbors they're f—king or watching TV." Julie Odell and New Holland open. Tickets $8-$10.


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