Mo Kenney’s dreams

She embraces the sad optimist's conflict with In My Dreams.

Kenney rips a mean solo.
Kenney rips a mean solo.

"I'm super-sensitive and I always have been," says singer-songwriter Mo Kenney. "I think people who are smart and think too much can put themselves in a dark hole because, well, thinking too much can be a bad thing. But really, for the most part, I'm an optimistic person."

After hearing Kenney's new album, In My Dreams, produced in Dartmouth with Joel Plaskett at New Scotland Yard and released on Pheromone Recordings, I had to ask if she ever gets bummed out. While Kenney's second record is a departure from her 2012 folk-based collection, with Plaskett on drums and a greater focus on rock melodies, it's still sad. 

"That's why I started writing in the first place," she says. "Writing songs is how I medicated when I was a teenager because being a teenager sucks."

True, but all those shitty teenage years can creatively carry you into your 20s. "I was starting to get worried that I was going to be a huge loser for the rest of my life," she says, laughings. "I hoped everything would just kinda work out but I didn't think this would happen." 

Just 24, Kenney has already released two killer albums that showcase her talent as a songwriter, as well as grabbing a SOCAN song writing prize, ECMA and Canadian Folk Music Award. She is both meek and commanding, with a strong sense of humour and stage presence. "My mom can't believe I wanted to do this because I remember filling out this thing in grade four about what you want to be," she says. "I wrote I wanted to be a hermit or a carpenter. But I'm a different person onstage when I'm performing—it's a role you can step into. I love it."

Mo Kenney w/Kim Churchill
Tuesday, October 21, 10:30pm
The Carleton Music Bar & Grill
sold out, wristband only

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