When I published my annual Ones to Watch list for 2016 last November, one name that I had down as being a definite for inclusion as far back as April 2015 was Declan McKenna. I was pretty sure Declan was going to crop up on a whole bunch of tips for 2016 lists, because he was taking the classic singer songwriter template and doing something bold, interesting and that little bit unique with it both musically and lyrically. His mini anthem Brazil took on corruption in football and its governing body FIFA, whilst Paracetamol deals with the misrepresentation of transgender teenagers. As it turned out, his name didn't feature on many lists, but maybe that’s a blessing, allowing him to develop his talents without the pressure and expectation that 'Sound of 2016' type predictions bring.
It’s artists like Declan that interest me the most; the ones who aren’t just following tired clichés (and there's an awful lot of them around in mainstream pop music right now). His new video for Paracetamol continues that direction of pushing a little harder. Shot in London and Brighton by Director Matt Lambert, it features a number of teenagers who live in Hackney (the video was also filmed in part in Brighton) using a variety of different media including the casts own phones. Watch out also for a cameo appearance by drag artist David Hoyle - his statement at the end of the piece that life is all about love and the rest is bullshit sums things up perfectly.
Declan plays this year’s Great Escape festival in Brighton. If you’re going take our tip – he’s one to watch.
Declan McKenna - Paracetamol (Video)