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Declan McKenna Breaks Down New Album What Happened to the Beach? Track by Track: Exclusive

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Track by Track is a recurring feature series in which artists guide readers through every song on their latest release. Today, Declan McKenna takes us through his new record, What Happened to the Beach?.


Declan McKenna has returned with What Happened to the Beach?, the follow-up to 2021’s Zeroes. The album sees McKenna continuing to develop a more relaxed style, allowing for the psychedelic and pop components to shine through even more brilliantly.

What Happened to the Beach? is intentionally a more joyful album than McKenna’s prior efforts. While remaining a powerful songwriter, he’s now more open to a good time or two.

McKenna explains that two main influences for the album were St. Vincent and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The artist says of St. Vincent: “She takes the guitar to a really cool place. Everything can be manipulated.” Meanwhile, he cites UMO’s hypnotic and spacey energies as factors in the style of the album.

Across the album’s 12 tracks, McKenna’s personality shines through, and it’s a sunny one. “It is entirely quite sweet and optimistic and carries the feeling that is at the core of the album: allowing yourself to let go,” he says of the track “Elevator Hum.”

Listen to Declan McKenna’s What Happened to the Beach? below, and read his Track by Track breakdown of the project. Grab tickets to his ongoing tour of the UK/Europe here.


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