2017 debut album.
At 18 years old, the British teenager has already garnered the sort of buzz that many musicians twice his age would give anything for. McKenna has been uploading jazz-inflected, appealingly ramshackle guitar-pop for a couple of years, name-checking influences from Jeff Buckley to Bach.
After winning Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015, Declan shot into the music industry’s spotlight, shortly afterwards self-releasing his debut single, “Brazil”, which is most interesting for being written, when McKenna was 15, as a condemnation of FIFA then-president Sepp Blatter. This polemical debut, which lambasts FIFA's local community involvement at the 2014 World Cup, secured him national airplay with a coveted space on Radio 1’s playlist and a champion in Huw Stephens.
With support from BBC Music Introducing, 2016 saw him perform at Maida Vale, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Later… with Jools Holland. Meanwhile, he continued to aim at big targets – with recent single “Isombard” tackling the subject of xenophobia in the media.
All the attention is certainly justified: Declan’s brand of socially-conscious indie pop is fresh and intelligent, and it has established him as a youthful voice with something to say.