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A New Reality Mind, singer-songwriter Madeline Kenney's fourth studio album out July 28, was written in the aftermath of a sudden and unexpected breakup. Left alone to work out what had happened and why, Kenney returned to her 2020 album Sucker’s Lunch and found she had unwittingly already written about the roots of the problems in the relationship. In order to move forward with her life, Kenney wrote through it. "Superficial Conversation" is the first single from the album and acts as a line in the sand. Led by melancholy synths and a fluttering harp, Kenny casts herself off from the past filled with shallow connections and half-truths, and moves toward a more accepting place.
The frustration is evident in Kenney's opening gambit as she sings, "This chain reaction is driving me up the wall. I’d be better off talking backwards or not at all." But as she continues to work through her emotions she makes peace with her mistakes and tries best not to blame herself. Peace arrives in the form of the last line as she intones, "I do not need your supervision anymore." It feels like a breeze entering a stuffy room: refreshing and vital.
Speaking to The FADER via email, Kenney says, "'Superficial Conversation' is my way of looking back at the ways I shrunk myself or ignored my own needs in favor of the needs and desires of others. While I wish I had acted differently, I want to be kind and forgiving to my past self and be able to grow and move forward with more power and love.
I wanted the video to show a forced transformation, from the inside and out. Jess Bozzo's choreography really captured what I wanted to evoke; a painful change that becomes a pretty joyous opening with room for desire and play."