Declan McKenna has never been one to shy away from addressing social issues, and his latest single is no exception.
You may have heard of this up-and-coming artist’s current song “Brazil” (off of his 2016 EP “Liar”) which peaked at #16 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, and deals with corruption in sports, taking shots at FIFA and making strong claims such as, “The people are dying to get on TV.” He aims his focus towards Sepp Blatter, the eighth president of FIFA, with his lyric, “He got eyes, but he can’t see / Well, he talks like an angel but he looks like me.” McKenna openly admitted in an interview with MetroLyrics that his song references the extravagance of Blatter “maybe doing certain bad things in a way that they would think that they’re sort of supernatural or… like an angel, but actually just being the same as everyone else and kind of just being a horrible person.”
However, in an ironic twist of events, McKenna’s energetic pop single “Isombard” featured on FIFA’s 2017 soundtrack. While covering the topic of the “Fox News-type TV presenter trying to justify things like police brutality and xenophobia,” (DIYMag) McKenna uses his snappy synths and catchy chorus to pull us in. Whether you agree with the lyrics or not, there’s no way you won’t at least be tapping your toe when it comes on. Soon after the song premiered, McKenna admitted in a series of tweets that he realized “Isombard” was spelled wrong, but preferred it that way.
Every song he releases tends to have a heavy-weighted meaning surrounding it. So, what is his latest topic, you may ask? “‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ is a song I wrote about being a young person in the modern world,” McKenna told NME, “It’s about wanting to challenge fears and be part of a movement of change, and looking for hope despite a lot of dark and horrible things happening around the world.”
Released on January 11, 2017, “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home” tackles the emotional mayhem our current generation deals with on a regular basis. The music video includes dialog from varying young adults explaining why they’re struggling, and what the future holds. This song is a game-changer for McKenna’s lyrical repertoire. Don’t be fooled by the peppy kick drum and infectious melody, this is not the bubblegum pop we’re used to. Every word sung holds meaning, they’re written with emotion rather than greed. Instead of wallowing in self pity, McKenna aims his lyrics toward the generation before us, explaining, “Haven’t you any shame? / Have you got no morals? / Teaching them how to aim, oh / Sadness and no sorrow.” Pretty deep lyrics for an average 18-year old singer-songwriter, right?
McKenna uses the chorus as a warning from our generation to the previous, “You don’t know how to give love to anyone / You don’t know how to pretend / You told your kids that you’d live long forever / But the kids don’t wanna come home again.” The lyrics are heavy, the melody is light, and the message is on point.
But the true question remains: Will Declan McKenna become this generation’s prominent voice? Or will his music be buried under the countless dance tracks and corporate-written pop that seem to surround our generation?
Check out Declan McKenna’s music video for “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home” below!