Exeter, Devon UK • Jun 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Music Single Review: Declan McKenna – Beautiful Faces

Single Review: Declan McKenna – Beautiful Faces

Issy Murray reviews Declan McKenna's latest single
5 mins read
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Issy Murray reviews Declan McKenna’s latest single.

McKenna’s new release, ‘Beautiful Faces’ is the perfect announcement for his upcoming album, Zeros which will be dropping May 15th.

The song, which begins with a slow, falling cadence that resembles an ending, paints a picture of a dystopian world; a world uncanny in both its familiarity and its distance from normality. McKenna’s lyrics masterfully capture the anxieties of young people confronted with the modern world and particularly social media. McKenna explained: “I wanted to reimagine social media in this future-sphere where it has become even more immersive so that we cannot see where it ends, and we begin.”. The looming image of ‘beautiful faces smiling over us’ seems a succinct visual representation of how intimidating a perfect online persona can be to anyone, let alone a susceptible young person. In this day and age where appearance and online presence is everything, this pressure is a worthy topic to address.

Like pretty much all of Declan’s discography, ‘Beautiful Faces’ is politically poignant whilst remaining catchy and upbeat.

The music video confirms the single as a psychedelic vision of a society where the distinction between reality and manufactured superficiality is practically non-existent, as scenes glitch between videos of McKenna and his band and them re-imagined as CGI characters. Despite the bright colour palette, viewers can’t help but feel a sense of unease, mirroring both lyrics and melody. This is an edge which will perhaps be sharper in his next album in comparison to his first, What Do You Think About the Car? which was released in 2017. With the release of McKenna’s album being long-awaited for his fans, ‘Beautiful Faces’ has been well received, having been streamed over a million times on Spotify since its release just over two weeks ago.

Like pretty much all of Declan’s discography, ‘Beautiful Faces’ is politically poignant whilst remaining catchy and upbeat.

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