Thursday, September 28, 2023

A Call For Societal Change Is Lyricised In Declan McKenna’s New Musical Masterpiece

Summer anthem creator Declan Mckenna has given the public another incredibly crafted track, ready to take us into the coming autumnal months. After his debut single ‘Brazil’ reached such a huge audience in protest to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Mckenna gained an enormous fan base.

From here, his musical career has understandably skyrocketed, with achievements including Glastonbury Festival’s 2015 Emerging TalentWwinner and 2017’s BBC Introducing Artist of the Year. A phenomenal set of achievements for the singer-songwriter, and no doubt many more are to follow as his new tracks gain more and more attraction.

His recently released single ‘Nothing Works’ has been promoted on his TikTok account for a while now, with listeners and viewers eagerly awaiting the public arrival of such. The opening is strong, intense and powerful unlike the gradual sound that many artists in his alt-rock/indie-rock genre adopt. Perhaps this unusual immediate sound acts as a gateway to the song’s reflective yet rebellious message; conforming to the expectations of society causes one to feel a sense of constriction and confinement. 

The beauty of this song is that such a message of social criticism bleeds from the musicality into the lyrics effortlessly. The words “I try to fix myself but nothing works/ I sing the song, and you didn’t like the words” encapsulate this idea that nothing is ever up to social standards; one can try one’s best but the expectations are simply too high. Here, the artist wonderfully criticises the past and present simultaneously, leaving little hope for the future, except for the irony in drawing attention to the issue at hand. 

As a pre-recorded almost retro sound plays to tie up the single, we come back to this idea of past and present unity and therefore acknowledge the inevitable nature of repetition in the future. The tempo is fast, the pitch low and the tone descending into a state of chaotic order. Unless the pedestalling of validation from what surrounds us can be abolished, Mckenna recognises and thus comments on the unreachable and frankly upsetting standards set upon us by society, and how imperative it is that we break this chain. 

Abby Price 


Image: Declan McKenna ‘Nothing Works’ Official Single Cover

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