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it’s like pop music made by people with a deep contempt for pop music in a callous effort to prove how vapid pop music is. I read somewhere recently – God, fine, I read in 2013, critics could not get over the fact that a teenage girl could contain such galaxies.” And that is the only way I can describe Declan Mc Kenna: as perhaps the only young musician truly on the level of -era Lorde, in terms of sheer talent and work ethic; as a teenager who contains galaxies. So they went a little overboard in 2013, trying to cement their reputation as The Greatest Rock Band Currently Doing It. This new album is a nice, reasonable 45 minutes; looks like they’re working within a strong, focused theme. So imagine my surprise when I popped my headphones in on the morning of the 28th and got about three songs deep before it dawned on me, slow; is like…I certainly don’t object to Arcade Fire going pop – “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” still rips, y’all – but there’s a difference between “going pop” and “satirizing pop music by making bad pop music.” So, tragically, the new Arcade Fire album sucked, and doubly tragically, this month was thin on indie releases because nobody wanted to compete with Arcade Fire. To be clear, this music would be impressive coming from anyone.Thin on big rap releases, too, because nobody wanted to compete with JAY Z – although the less said about I was fully prepared to hand Best of the Month to Japanese Breakfast until about two days ago, when I put on Declan Mc Kenna’s debut without knowing the first thing about him. It certainly pulled me in before I knew a single thing about him.But he’s that he doesn’t identify as straight or gay, that he has “a lot of friends who don’t identify as a boy or a girl.” In other words, he was a fifteen year-old, gender non-conforming queer kid immersed in a community of kids like him when he learned of the suicide of fifteen-year-old trans girl Leelah Alcorn.And that news was still raw when he penned “Paracetamol,” an ode to Alcorn and to all of his friends dangling on that same precipice: .The lyrics look hollow on paper, a little platitudinous, a little Macklemore-y.
That honour goes to the much-celebrated “Brazil,” a devastating take on FIFA corruption that easily stands among the greatest protest songs ever recorded.
But this thing, honestly, is the kind of bold, unrelenting rock record that fellow Brit Harry Styles he could make.
There’s “Make Me Your Queen,” a hand-to-god masterwork of songwriting in the vein of Mitski’s “I Don’t Smoke” that sees Mc Kenna searching for love in the hands of an abusive partner.
It feels like RSD is coming up still, so many shipments of stuff!
Still late RSD stuff coming in, as well as restocks of some of the cooler things as well.
And looking at my pre-orders, there’s loads of cool stuff coming in lately and soon…(Black Keys, Bry Webb, Constantines, Lee Fields, etc.) Save your pennies folks…. Circle (Ex-Falcon): Leviatan (Full Contact) LP/CD Finland’s avant-rock explorers, Circle are at it again.