I hadn’t really heard much about Declan McKenna as I first spotted his new album being advertised by a project with ASOS. From his personal image, I straight away gathered he was from the indie genre and was waiting for the new album. However, I don’t know why, but I wasn’t that excited as I presumed it would be like most material out there. I kinda feel bad for expecting such generic material from him. But at least it lead to a good surprise for myself.
McKenna’s delivery of the album is something I never expected. Each song has such a deep, meaning. Whether it be politically or socially challenging for issues we are currently facing, talking about ideas which a lot of young people have on their minds. He’s ventured into some topics that some artists wouldn’t, such as ‘Paracetamol’ about death and the misinterpretation of the LGBT community. This is a massive issue at the moment that he’s clearly being inspired by. For 18 years old, I was totally blown away by his lyrical power and how these songs have been produced. His mind is so sharp, especially when you think he’s been writing this from the age of 15! Ugh, I actually have fallen in love with this album.
“The stuff that I talk about in my songs, I’d like to think, is important and relevant, but by no means revolutionary. A lot of it should be glaringly obvious – and is to a lot of young people.”
If you haven’t heard much about McKenna, he firstly won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. From there his talent has just emerged more and more. He realised his single ‘Brazil” and started to really make a name for himself. Not only in the UK but all over the world. Reading interviews by McKenna, he really talks about some important points and is such an intelligent young man. When working with ASOS he noted that his aim was in fact to highlight young musicians and go against stereotypes of young people, in terms of politics and the world around them. I personally feel he couldn’t have executed that ideology any better.
You have to find a middle ground between being scared or anxious about putting out what you’re doing and not being precious enough about the stuff that you’re making. If you spend your entire life thinking ‘this is never good enough’, then no one is ever going to tell you that it’s shit, and that’s something that you have to do.
– Alternative, indie rock, with a little flair of synth pop –
Aside from the lyrics of this songs carrying such intelligent and meaningful words, they’re just pretty funky. It’s so good to see such a promising young artist doing his own thing. Sure he’s following some of the trends, even some of the retro ones. But he’s really putting his own spin on things. I really don’t think there’s enough artists producing that raw sound anymore and for me it’s so great to see an artist such as McKenna bringing that back.
I don’t even think I could pick out my favourite tracks because I have really fallen in love with every track but Paracetamol has the one of my favourites. Although the lyrics take a very dark tone, that first melody just gets you hooked and it’s really hard hitting what he is talking about. I also like how this track sets its self apart from the rest of the album. Go check out the album, you really won’t regret it. I think this is such a promising artist and this debut album has really set him up for his future. I hope a second album won’t take too long as he really seems truly inspired and he should get his material out there.
- The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home
- Make Me Your Queen
- I Am Everyone Else
- Why Do You Feel So Down
- Listen To Your Friends
Listen to the album on Spotify here…