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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Declan Mckenna’s latest album, ‘What Happened to the Beach’ is weirdly satisfying

Grapevine Magazine
Declan Mckenna’s album cover; featuring two cows in the back.

On Feb.9 Declan McKenna released his newest and fourth studio album in his discography, What Happened to the Beach? The British singer-songwriter originally burst onto the music scene with his indie-pop sound and socially conscious lyrics. Born on December 24, 1998, in Enfield, London.

McKenna’s musical journey began at a young age when he started playing guitar and writing songs. He gained widespread attention in 2015 after winning the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition. Since then, he’s released multiple successful albums and become a household name in the bedroom/indie pop scene.

The album opens up with “WOBBLE” which sets the scene for the rest of the album, beginning with a unique tune; this psychedelic song creates a strong image for the rest of the album. The setlist has distinctive and abrasive rhythms which takes getting used to. However, when you do; the songs are very playlist material.

Much like his previous work; this album features some rock and indie moments as well-such as in, “The phantom Buzz (Kick In)” and “Mulhollands Dinner and Wine.” I personally liked “Sympathy” the most because it had a sort of nostalgic feel to it which heightened the experience when listening to it. 

Furthermore, McKenna’s music is characterized by catchy melodies, vibrant instrumentation, and introspective lyrics that touch on a range of topics, including politics, LGBTQ+ issues, and social justice. His songwriting often reflects his keen observations of the world around him, as well as his own personal experiences. 

Finally, the album itself was very enigmatic, it definitely requires an acquired taste as the beat and rhythm of the songs might throw most people off. However, it also adds an intriguing twist and constantly grows on you the more you listen to it. Not to mention, he ends the album ominously with “4 More Years” which contains 46 seconds of with the repetition of the lyrics “four more years” leaving you with many questions unanswered. All in all the album is worth a listen and won’t disappoint you.

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About the Contributor
Tenzin Choenyi
Tenzin Choenyi, Asst. Opinion Editor
Tenzin is a sophomore at Niles North and this is his second year on North Star News. He is the assistant Opinion editor, during his free time he enjoys reading, writing, and binging shows.

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