Declan McKenna with Chappell Roan

March 23, 2018 - 8:00pm

“...Hertforshire-raised singer-songwriter has been hailed as a Bob Dylan for today’s teens…" – The Sunday Times

On Friday, March 23, Monqui Presents and Alternative@103.7  NRQ proudly welcome Declan McKenna to the WOW Hall along with special guest Chappell Roan.

Here’s an opportunity to get in at the ground floor with an upcoming artist who has the ear of fans and critics on both sides of the Atlantic.  Declan McKenna, an alternative singer/songwriter and socially conscious artist, has announced his 40-date U.S. headlining tour -- the most extensive tour the 18-year-old Brit has undertaken yet. McKenna will perform in cities including Austin, Nashville, Philadelphia, Seattle and, yes, Eugene.  This follows rapturously received performances at Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds Festivals, and the release of his debut album What Do You Think About The Car? via Columbia Records.

Declan was raised in Hertfordshire UK.  A multi-instrumentalist by the time he was a teenager, he began releasing tracks on his bandcamp page when “Brazil” began to attract viral followers in January 2015. He’s since performed at Glastonbury, Reading, Latitude, Outside Lands and SXSW among other festivals and has opened for acts such as The Head and the Heart. Declan made his US television debut on CONAN and also performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the UK’s Later with Jools Holland.

Declan McKenna’s debut album What Do You Think About The Car?, a collection of socially aware, melody-heavy indie pop songs, is out now via Columbia Records. The album received near universal praise, and was recently featured on NPR Music as a First Listen with NPR Music’s Bob Boilen noting, “Declan McKenna writes about a much bigger world than you or I might expect from a singer who only recently turned 18.”

The New York Times included McKenna’s single, “Humongous” in their weekly playlist, describing Declan’s music as, “a strong throwback streak, from his reedy John Lennon-Liam Gallagher vocals to his melodic, midtempo guitar-strumming Britpop productions.”

Declan McKenna was also named one of Rolling Stones “10 New Artists You Need to Know” for August 2017, calling, What Do You Think About The Car?, “smart, moving and occasionally really funny.”  The album additionally received strong reviews from UK's Q, The Guardian, DIY and DORK. The album is available here:

What Do You Think About The Car? is the follow up to Declan’s EP Liar released last May.  The full-length album was recorded in London and LA alongside renowned producer James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco (Depeche Mode, Arctic Monkeys).  The song “Listen To Your Friends” was produced by Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend; the track, “Paracetamol” was produced by Neil Comber; and “Brazil” was produced by Max Marlow. Declan, an adept songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, wrote all of the songs and co-wrote “Listen To Your Friends” on the 11-track LP.

Alongside his headlining dates, Declan McKenna will appear at area high schools in cities on this tour, for an intimate performance and Q&A with local students. McKenna will perform 3-4 songs acoustically, and talk about his journey as a young songwriter and how music and performing have shaped his life. A common theme in McKenna’s music is the role young people play in creating a more equitable society, and through these performances he hopes to empower fellow teenagers and help them realize that their voice matters and that they can create positive change, even if it can feel confusing or hopeless at first.  As Declan says in a recent Billboard interview: “Quite a big part of the album is about change and being confused… a lot of the headspace I was in was trying to make sense of growing up in a world with loads of crazy things happening.”




During early 2015, 16-year-old Chappell Roan found herself in New York City -- a thousand miles away from her hometown of Willard, MO. She traveled to the Big Apple in order to showcase for multiple major labels. Hailing from a city of just 5,000, she stood at a crossroads.

“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.

Chappell 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.”

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.”

Tickets are $15 in advance.  Doors open at 7:00 pm and showtime is 8:00.


Door Time: 
March 23, 2018 - 7:00pm
$15 Advance