Declan McKenna may be a teenager who found much of his early success on YouTube, but he’s not some disposable pop star singing about generic romance and partying. The 19-year-old British singer-songwriter’s debut single, 2015’s “Brazil,” points out hypocrisy in international sports, criticizing the organization that puts on soccer’s World Cup for failing to address poverty in the country where it holds its annual tournament. McKenna’s subsequent singles (including “Paracetamol,” “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home” and “Isombard”) have addressed transgender discrimination, generational conflicts and media bias, so he certainly doesn’t shy away from serious topics.

That doesn’t mean that McKenna can’t craft a monster hook, though. The Guardian called the songs on his 2017 debut album, What Do You Think About the Car?, “sun-soaked aural fizz bombs which channel indie rock through his love of David Bowie and Abba.” While his political songs have garnered the most attention, Mc-Kenna also writes more introspective lyrics. “I write about things I care about, like any songwriter, whether it’s a personal thing or not,” he told Billboard last year. He’s emerged as a remarkably self-assured and confident artist, and he’s just getting started.

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