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Looking for a young artist who happens to create great memes but also creates boppin’ tunes? Indie singer-songwriter Declan McKenna may be the one for you.

At only 18, Declan has accomplished way more than others twice his age have even attempted. Between enduring multiple tours in the last two years, releasing two EPs, and debuting a brand new single in January, Declan has taken the underground music scene by storm, quicker than his fans can comprehend. On top of this, McKenna also writes and plays every instrument heard on his songs.

In 2015, at 16 years old, McKenna participated in and later won Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition, which landed him a spot at the festival later that year. Shortly after the festival, he was quickly signed to Columbia Records – home to a plethora of household names.

McKenna’s first release, “Brazil”, received vast amounts of praise from various music critics all over. The song is mainly about FIFA and all of the negative connotations within the federation, along with all of the controversy that took place during the World Cup. He touches on subjects such as poverty and corruption, typically taboo topics that most artists don’t dare to write about. On top of this song, McKenna also touches on topics such as transgender adolescents, politics, and society in general.

The release of his new song, “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home”, has skyrocketed him out of the underground indie rock scene and into alternative radio stations’ hands. On this track, McKenna discusses adolescents in today’s society and hardships they face. This song is also seemingly different when compared to other previously released songs. While other songs are heavily synth-based, this song is more alternative mainstream material.

From the moment I heard “Brazil” and its eerie yet welcoming intro, I was hooked and knew this young singer-songwriter was destined to be a star. Be sure to check out his music! Every song is a bop.


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MUNA - About U Review // AtTheBarricade.net

MUNA

About U


Label: Columbia
Released: February 3, 2017

If you need a new dark pop girl trio in your life, you’re in luck. LA-based band, MUNA, released their debut album today (Feb. 3) titled About U, an album that speaks volumes with every track. The band consisting of Katie Gavin (lead vocals/production), Josette Maskin (lead guitar/vocals), and Naomi McPherson (production/guitar/synths/vocals), tackles issues that not everyone wants to talk about but that needs to be said.

From bedroom production to in-studio, their follow up to their outstanding EP, The Loudspeaker, showcases their glossy production and dark pop style. The album tackles the topics of heartbreak, queerness, and love amid nothing being sugar coated with anything they produce. The EP’s tracks, included on the album, exhibited nothing but greatness leading up to the full-length LP. Early promotional singles articulated matters of self-love in “Crying On The Bathroom Floor” and creating safe spaces in “I Know a Place”, a single that doubles as an ode to the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting. Other noteworthy tracks include “Around U”, “Loudspeaker”, and of course, their breakout single “Winterbreak”.

One of the stand out tracks from the album includes the slow synthwave ballad “If U Love Me Now”. The lyrics are chilling and introspective, making the subdued track impressive and hard hitting with every word. It’s a song about the fear of being unloved, worrying and feeling deserving of somebody. MUNA without a doubt adds a trophy to their case with this song, putting it high on the shelf of released tracks.

About U is beyond just what the name insinuates. It’s about situations everyone has gone through, even when we don’t want to acknowledge it. It is a familiar, yet stimulating take on pop music, with all their voices working together in a stunning sheer blend, making everything atmospheric. It captures the pits and peaks of life in twelve vivid tracks from beginning to end without dissatisfaction to be found.

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