Tag Archives: Declan McKenna

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After the last time I wrote about Declan McKenna I didn’t think I’d ever feature him again. I was a little snarky (who? me?) which led to a reader complaint, and Declan even quoted me (in an ironic way) in his Twitter bio. But I’m all about equal opportunities around here, so when someone does something good, I’ll recognise them for it. Why Do You Feel So Down from his debut album caught my ear on a recent New Music Friday. Although he’s a teenager from Hertfordshire, he’s managed to make a track that reminds me of Swedish indie-pop of the mid-2000s. It has a strong, catchy melody with bouncy production and an uplifting feel, joyful and sweet with a youthful yet nostalgic sound. I would like to formally offer a truce to Declan, and concede that he’s not trying too hard to be cool anymore, as he actually is quite cool.


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16-year-old British boy Declan McKenna got the A&R community abuzz recently when his track Brazil caught the attention of the indie blogging scene and the evening show DJs at Radio 1. He won his first official accolade this month when he aced Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition. The prize is a slot at Glastonbury and £5,000 from PRSF’s Talent Development Fund. Declan’s sound is interesting, as he represents a new generation that hasn’t grown up with indie music. If indie makes a comeback, it won’t be via older acts who’ve patiently waited in the wings, but kids for whom it seems obscure, alternative and fresh. Brazil has a mildly catchy chorus but overall sounds like an awkward mess to me, just like all those supposed classics by Arctic Monkeys, the Libertines etc, but it's endearing to watch a young lad trying so hard to be cool. That’s probably not the compliment he wants, but it’s the best he’ll get from me I’m afraid!