Declan McKenna releases new album, “Zeroes”

Written By Tia Bailey, Co-Features/A&E Editor

Declan McKenna is an indie-rock musician who has been gaining more popularity over the last few years. The 21-year-old Brit released his second studio album, “Zeroes” to streaming services on Sept. 4.


The album was delayed by McKenna multiple times due to the coronavirus and was leaked online just weeks before the September release. 


“Zeroes” has 10 tracks and was written by McKenna himself, along with Jake Passmore and Max Marlow. The album was produced by Jay Joyce. It is listed as an alternative/indie-rock album. 


Most of the songs on the album are upbeat and energetic, although the lyrics often tell a more sad story. Track one, titled “You Better Believe!!!,” is a perfect example of this. The track is very quick-paced and exciting to listen to, but the lyrics aren’t as such. 


The most-played song from the album on McKenna’s spotify is “The Key to Life on Earth.” The track is another upbeat song, and was released as a single for the album along with a music video. Other singles from the album include “Beautiful Faces,” “Daniel, You’re Still a Child” and “Be an Astronaut.”


All of the singles are lively, except for “Be an Astronaut,” which is a more slow-paced song—one of the only songs like that on the album. This is the second track on the album and is one of the two songs on the album to follow the character ‘Daniel.’ McKenna describes the song via Apple Music as being about how “dreams can be damaging and can often be unattainable.”


This idea can be heard in the chorus when he sings “You said I could be just what I want/ And they said you’re lying/ Well, you were born to be an astronaut/ And you’ll do that or die trying.” These lyrics mixed with the slower, less-lively instrumentals make this song one of the sadder on the album.


Daniel’s story continues in track 5, titled “Daniel, You’re Still a Child.” This is another case where the music is upbeat and sounds happy, but the lyrics are about being lost and alienated in the world that you are in. 


There is a recurring mention of outer space throughout the album. This can be seen both in the titles of songs, such as “Be an Astronaut” and “The Key to Life on Earth,” as well as in some of the lyrics of other songs. In “You Better Believe!!!,” McKenna sings, “Just ’cause you’ve got your own theme song/ Fastest gun in the solar system” and “Oh, I’m sorry, my dear/ The asteroid’s here.” 


The singles released prior to the full album did well on the charts. “Beautiful Faces” peaked at #24 on Billboard’s Alternative Music chart when it was released at the beginning of 2020. 


Overall, the album is enjoyable to listen to, especially if you were already a listener of McKenna’s music. The instrumentals are comparable to his first studio album, “What Do You Think About the Car?,” and there are multiple themes and storylines throughout.