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  • Jack Starr

Declan McKenna – Indie Star Coming to Sheffield's Octagon Centre in March with New Album

Declan McKenna is one of the more exciting breakout talents of recent years. Combining elements of glam rock and dream pop into his indie sound, he is listened to more than seven million times each month on Spotify alone.

McKenna, aged 25, first broke into the industry through the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, and released his debut album, What Do You Think About the Car?, in 2017 to critical acclaim. He has been recognised for his protest songs and tackling hard-hitting subjects, including corruption in sports, suicide, and LGBT rights. His second album, Zeros, released in 2020 and took inspiration from the 1970s glam era. It debuted at number 2 on the UK album chart.

His third and latest album, What Happened to the Beach? was released on the 9th of February, and so far has peaked at number 3 on the UK album chart. The style and sound departs somewhat from the previous albums – McKenna has taken a step away from soapboxing on tough issues, giving us a less ‘intense’ and more ‘fun’ pop-rock record. The LP is inspired by the young singer-songwriter’s experiences in California, and he has cited St Vincent and Unknown Mortal Orchestra as influences on his new sound. Tracks have also drawn comparisons to Beck and Tame Impala with their psychedelic grooves.

Supporting the new record, he is playing a 16-date UK and Ireland tour across March and April. Demand has been huge – many shows have sold out already, with additional dates added in Glasgow, Dublin and Liverpool to accommodate the amount of fans who are expected. The tour will include a show at London’s Alexandra Palace, with McKenna’s largest audience to date.

Of course, he will be appearing in Sheffield, on the 29th of March. Originally set to appear at the Sheffield O2 Academy, the gig has been relocated to the Octagon Centre, as the O2 Academy remains closed due to an ongoing concrete survey. We can expect to hear all of his new tracks, and hopefully some of the classics too.

McKenna will be supported on the UK tour by Wunderhorse, a blues and Americana-influenced indie rock group who have been making huge waves themselves since the release of their debut album, Cub, in 2022. Wunderhorse have previously supported acts including Fontaines DC, Pixies, Foals, and Sam Fender on their continued rise to the top.

Following the UK headline tour, he will then tour mainland Europe, with dates across Belgium, the Netherlands, Czechia, Poland, Germany and France, before he hits the festival circuit in the summer.

Declan McKenna is a young artist who has already delivered a lot in his short career. It’s always exciting to see where he goes next, as this new tour will no doubt confirm. He will be one to watch for a long time to come.


What Happened to the Beach? is available now, from Declan McKenna’s own label, Tomplicated Records. Live tickets are available here.


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