Sat Mar 17 2018
7:00 pmBlack Sheep
$15 Advance // $18 Day of Show
This event is all ages
Each ticket purchase includes a coupon for $5 off any Declan item at the merchandise table the night of the show. **Coupon will be sent to the email address used to purchase your ticket the day before the show *Limit $5 off per ticket purchased. All merchandise based on availability.https://www.blacksheeprocks.com/event/1604923/
Declan’s gigs came thicker and faster after Glastonbury and, hankering after a bigger sound, he recruited a guitarist, bassist and drummer. Although he’d always found time to write songs during school, shortly after starting his A-Levels in September he decided to jack studying in. He “did OK” in his GCSEs (four As, twoBs, two Cs and two Ds if you’re asking) but says he “just couldn’t be arsed to be there anymore.”“All I wanted to do was go home and play guitar,” he continues. Looking at him –he’s wearing a shirt with tiny orange birds printed all over it, an oversized granddad jumper, skintight jeans, mucky Converse and chipped turquoise nail polish –it’s not hard to see why. He looks like a pop misfit in training.The taste of Brazil’s success was irresistible for a wannabe who first picked up a guitar aged eight and, after immersing himself in Bowie, Jeff Buckley, The Beatles and post-millennial indie from Vampire Weekend to Hot Hot Heat, had home-recorded more than 100 songs by 16. “I once tried to record an album in a day” he recalls, laughing. “It was pretty shit, but I did it”.Whilst the tail of Brazil had only just reached the US (and continues today to build at a frightening rate on college radio), Declan soon followed it with second single, Paracetamol, which has another evil authority figure (this time basedon media misrepresentation of transgender culture) in its crosshairs. Produced by Neil Comber (Django Django, M.I.A., Patrick Wolf) it swaps Brazil’s guitar for a chunky keyboard part, which shrouds even darker subject matter –suicide. Paracetamol was premiered by Declan through his own ‘pirate radio’ station, a weekly (“If I don’t forget, or am not out playing a gig”) digital outlet for Declan to vent and rant, and play his ever-expanding fans his favourite songs and snippets of his own.Paracetamol is aniggling gem of a song, infectious and straight from the Mac DeMarco school of the leftfield. Blogs were quick to support it, but the repeated suggestion that it was written about a misspent youth was way off.McKenna, who is straight and has many transgender and LGBT friends, was inspired to write it after trans teenager Leelah Alcorn took her own life in December 2014. “It’s a morbid topic but it’s not meant to be depressing,” he explains. “I’ve heard similar stories about parents who aren’t exactly accepting. Trans culture is too common not to be talked about properly in the media and when it is, like when Channel 4 did Girls To Men, you can tell they don’t even understand what a transgender person is. I wanted to speak as the media, from the bad guy’s perspective and ask why we’re treating people this way.”By the time he’s finished his fingers are knotted in frustration, but moments later he’s laughing and calling himself the “attention seeking child” of his family. This is symptomatic of his personality. The youngest of six, McKenna is equal parts teenage impishness and righteous indignation, silliness and maturity. He cares deeply about the environment and worries the world is “somewhat fucked”.“A lot of my songs are about big world problems because I’ve not got much bad personal stuff to write about. Humans are gonna destroy the planet to the extent they can’t live here anymore and I think we might be around to see that,” he says. Even so, he insists he’s not a crusading songwriter: “Fun is most important. I don’t think I have a responsibility to address anything, it’s good if people start thinking about something because of my songs but I’m not trying to be Billy Bragg.”Perhaps an easier parallel is Grimes: like Claire Boucher, he has the air of a troubled outsider, chanelling his fears for the future into pop music. McKenna simply says he’s trying to be nothing other than a 17-year-old: “My music isn’t meant to be mature, I’m young. I’ve had comments like ‘D’you reckon he’ll be as good when he turns into a man?’ As if huge balls will suddenly drop through my trousers! I don’t worry about that.”Mature or not, McKenna is hitting the road and working on his as-yet-untitled debut. Further heavy subject matter (‘Isombard’ tackles police brutality and is inspired by Martin Luther King and ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ was written after the Paris terror attacks in November 2015) sits alongside more personal material (‘Why Do You Feel So Down?’ portrays “a manipulative person who’s an absolute dickhead”).He’s channelling obsessions with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, St. Vincent, Tame Impala and Sufjan Stevens into songs that explore psychedelic noise, pop and shoegaze. James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Foals, Haim) will join Neil Comber on production duties. “It’s gonna be very much a first album, all over the place with lots of ideas,” McKenna finishes. “I don’t see that as a bad thing, Bowie did it. I’m creating something you couldn’t put in a genre, it’s difficult but I’ve definitely got enough songs.”It looks like this kid’s gonna be alright.
“It was a crazy moment,” she admits. “I couldn’t believe where I was, but I knew I wanted this. When I sing, I want people to feel every emotion. I hope they get a better understanding of me as a human being and not just as a singer. I want them to know who I am.”
This kind of honesty defines conversations with the songstress as well as her music, eschewing any and all pretense. Playing the piano with passion and penning lyrics about loss, love, and heartbreak, Chappell sings with a world-weary wisdom that belies her 19 years. Think of her as a teenage girl with the mystique and vision of Sia and powerful pipes a la Lana Del Rey, and you’re on the right track...
It’s no surprise that she unassumingly took the first step on this journey while still in grade school. At 12-years-old, the singer and songwriter began taking piano lessons. Devouring records from Fleetwood Mac and Bob Dylan, she taught herself to play by ear. She went from performing in the school choir to winning an eighth grade talent show. Recognizing her ability, mom encouraged her to play around her hometown area. Growing a buzz, her confessional and captivating style began to resonate with listeners everywhere as she posted music online. As that sound caught on, she signed to Atlantic Records even before finishing her junior year of high school.
Her first single “Good Hurt” immediately intoxicates with its darkly blissful pop fused melodies, illuminating her dynamic voice and vivid lyricism.
“It’s hard for me to explain what ‘Good Hurt’ is about. The best way for me to describe it is an addiction to pain. The meaning lies in the song and the video. Watch and listen and they will tell you everything.”
Now, her upcoming major label debut walks a fine line, and that’s why her music instantly resonates. She’s not afraid to tackle taboo subjects head-on.
Ultimately, Chappell’s music stays close to her heart, and it resonates for that very reason. “I’m not trying to be anything I’m not,” she leaves off. “I just want to be seen as a real person.”
2106 E. Platte Ave
Colorado Springs, CO, 80909