Despite boasting half a million Spotify listeners and having supported the likes of Blossoms on tour, I know very few people that I speak to who actually listen to Declan McKenna. (This is majorly frustrating when he’s doing a gig near you and there’s nobody to go with). Just short of 18, Declan’s already got quite a few songs out and an album on the way in 2017. And they’re good songs. Seriously good songs. He manages to combine super intelligent, politically fused lyrics with a really refreshing take on indie rock. It’s common knowledge that a lot of music within that genre can be somewhat repetitive and generic but Declan McKenna’s music is anything but.
You’d be hard pushed to find a ‘Ones To Watch’ list in which Declan doesn’t make an appearance and there’s reason behind it. First of all, his songs consist of just the right amount of catchiness and are just upbeat enough to get you dancing around (like I may or may not be doing right now). Nevertheless, they’re written in an immensely mature way and cover some really important topics. His initial single, ‘Brazil’, dealt with the corruption surrounding FIFA 2014, and his following singles draw attention to topics like transgender issues, religion and police brutality. There’s none of the stereotypes you’d expect a 17 year old boy to write about- there’s no lovestruck ballads and no lyrics we’ve all heard a thousand times before. He writes about things that are really important, and I think that’s part of what makes him such an exciting artist; he’s becoming a sort of mouthpiece for our generation in my opinion. And that’s so important! I’m a similar age to him, and he stands for similar things to me and so many others at this age, and is vocal about it- how he puts this into his music is why he’s made it onto my Ones To Watch list.
My personal favourite song is definitely ‘Paracetamol’- it’s a really beautiful song and it’s such an important issue- it’s also super infectiously catchy and just all in all an amazing song. I can’t wait to hear what’s next from Declan, and I highly recommend you check out the stuff he has released already!
Declan McKenna is heading out on a headline UK tour in January and March 2017.