Declan Mckenna

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Declan McKenna Wins BBC Introducing Artist Of The Year For 2017


Declan McKenna

Fast-rising British star Declan McKenna has capped off a hugely successful 2017 by being named as BBC Introducing’s artist of the year.

The annual award recognises musicians and artists who have gained their exposure through the BBC Introducing scheme, which allows unsigned acts to get their material played on the corporation’s radio stations.

McKenna, now aged 18 and who started writing songs at school in his teen years, said that he was “delighted and honoured” to be recognised with the prize.

Continue reading: Declan McKenna Wins BBC Introducing Artist Of The Year For 2017

Declan McKenna - What Do You Think About The Car? Album Review


Four-year-old Declan McKenna was asked what he thought of the new family motor, by his camcorder-holding sister, Rosanna. Diddy Declan cursorily approved of said wagon, then swiftly moved on to more pressing matters, announcing that he was going to perform his new album (a Busted song, as it turned out). Fourteen years after that prodigious interlude, the Hertfordshire wunderkind has only gone and actually released his debut LP. To top it all, it's bang tidy.

Declan McKenna - What Do You Think About The Car? Album Review

After winning the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in 2015, he's already played the festival three times. The skirmish to sign McKenna involved more participants than the Eurovision Song Contest, made all the more ironic that Columbia won eventually. But all credit to them, to McKenna, and mega-producer James Ford, for the fact that this album sounds as if Deccers has taken his time to craft a record that's genuinely personal and individual, one that doesn't smack of anyone else's interference or contrivance. Sitting alongside bands like Vant, McKenna embodies a growing trend of socially-aware young people, eyes wide open, holding a questionable world up to scrutiny. His songs are eloquently and energetically challenging, yet deeply compassionate.

His breakthrough song "Brazil" builds gradually, each layer augmenting the sweetness of the sound, running in counterpoint to the bitter, ironic lyrics. By the time 'the beautiful game' is mentioned, that phrase peers through the ugliness of dubious FIFA ethics surrounding the 2014 World Cup. The agitated synths of "Isombard" evoke the tensions created by heavy-handed policing and its justification by aggressive, right-wing news. "Bethlehem" holds the mirror to religion and how we 'confide', but in return it 'confines', and contains the richly ambiguous, 'Love is only as you see it'.

Continue reading: Declan McKenna - What Do You Think About The Car? Album Review

Latitude 2017 Preview


Latitude Festival The Jesus And Mary Chain Twin Peaks Declan McKenna Tinariwen The Lemon Twigs

Latitude Festival 2017 is nearly upon us! The line-up promises great sets from some great established names in the music business, with The 1975, Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes headlining and the likes of Fatboy Slim, Placebo, Two Door Cinema Club and Goldfrapp also on the bill.

However, Latitude does have an excellent reputation for boldness in selecting names that are a bit off the beaten track, and of promoting new talent to prestigious slots on the line-up.

So, here are ten recommendations of new and critically acclaimed acts off the beaten path to see at Latitude 2017!

Continue reading: Latitude 2017 Preview

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