In the quiet surrounding the pandemic, Madeline Kenney made sonic sketches in the basement studio she shared with her then-partner. She arranged phrases that called her—the sharp knife of a synth cutting a path along a blooming arpeggio, drums stuttering firm and tight. Working this way, she amassed a collection of songs she had no particular aims for. Some formed her 2021 EP Summer Quarter, others languished.
But in 2022, Kenney’s partner left suddenly and without warning, plunging her into the solitary act of untangling what happened. In the wake of her ensuing depression, she revisited these songs and found in them something prescient. She’d already laid the foundation for A New Reality Mind.
That her relationship’s end came without warning is only half true, though. The warnings were in the feelings and fears that inspired Kenney’s critically-acclaimed third album, Sucker’s Lunch (2020), which was co-produced by Jenn Wasner (Flock of Dimes) and centered around the idea of flinging oneself freely into the seemingly-assured destruction of new love, come what may.