Watch List: Meet The Youthful, Groundbreaking Artist That Is Declan Mckenna
Age shocks people when in reality it shouldn’t. Young people can grow up fast, be as capable and talented as the older people around them. Even music can challenge and sweep away our assumptions on age. Like in that show, The Voice, the judges only hear the voice of the person before they can turn their chairs to see who it is. A young person can sound beyond their years and someone after the reveal can blurt out, “You’re only x years old?!?” Such a response as this is no stranger to 17-year-old British singer-songwriter—Declan Mckenna.
Wise and informed, the singer-songwriter will write melodically sharp songs that aren’t all about some teenage dream. They talk about real issues. Declan Mckenna’s Ep Liar gears towards the corrupt nature of FIFA during the 2014 World Cup (“Brazil”), the media’s crooked portrayal and lack of understanding towards transgendered people (“Paracetamol”), and last, the hypocrisies found in religion (“Bethlehem”).
Brazil might be the biggest track with deserving attention to its punchy guitar hook and bright percussion. A song like this is tinged with that classic sound of 70s and 80s Brit Pop, especially with xylophone that comes in almost like it’s being transported from “Hong Kong Garden” by Siouxsie and the Banshees.
“Paracetomol” has more synths and to our ears, melts together the Districts, King Krule, and Vampire Weekend. Maybe Rostam (ex-member of Vampire Weekend) secretly met with Declan to produce this song? The two other poignant Liar tracks “Bethlehem” and “Howl” are just as rewarding, keeping everything we listen to completely honest and real.