Declan McKenna has come a long way since his breakout single, 2015’s “Brazil.” Even a decade on from releasing that song, the singer has maintained the same qualities his fans have come to know him for – raspy vocals and a distinctly indie sound – while becoming more experimental with both instrumentation and production.
All that and more is visible on McKenna’s third studio album, What Happened to the Beach?. Following his 2017 debut What Do You Think About the Car? and 2019’s sophomore LP Zeros, the latest album from the 25-year-old British singer hears him lean into psychedelic pop sounds.
On one track, McKenna dips into a crooning ballad while another sees him energetically jam out. The project is overall happier than his past two releases, though he still addresses similar themes – youth, feelings of isolation, and newfound fame.
The singer described What Happened to the Beach? As also being inspired by modern production. Whereas his past LPs have focused on live recording sessions including both himself and the backing musicians, he used the new album as a playground to experiment with electronic production and build out a song as he went along.
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