Creative Review New Music
Seventeen year old Declan was moved by the case of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager in the US who committed suicide, posting her reasons on Tumblr and sparking a petition calling for “Leelah’s Law”, a ban on conversion therapy in the United States.
He wrote Paracetamol about transgender teenagers, from the perspective of the media. The lyrics reflect the hyperbole and misunderstanding often found in the reporting of these sensitive cases, and the shines a light on the lack of LGBT narratives that don’t minimise the characters to their trauma.
It was important to Declan that the video for Paracetamol told a story about being a transgender teenager, from the perspective of a transgender teenager.
The director Matt Lambert is based in Berlin and has a history of making provocative films that explore contemporary youth identity and sexuality. His approach is honest, sensitive and unapologetic, which is exactly what was needed to compliment the song.
Shot in London and Brighton, the teenagers in the video are all 15 years old living in Hackney and cast by the 15-year-old daughter of Lambert’s executive producer.
The story of friendship, struggle and escape told in the video was driven by the experiences of the film’s cast, and was filmed on a variety of media, including the cast’s own phones. It features a cameo appearance by cult drag artist, David Hoyle.
Declan McKenna is currently performing a full week of shows at SXSW in Austin Texas, including shows for both BBC Introducing and Neon Gold. This is the young British musician’s first trip to the USA.
Declan’s UK live shows are listed below, including performances at this year’s Live at Leeds, Great Escape, and Field Day festivals.
29th April – Arts Club, Liverpool Tickets
30th April – Live At Leeds Festival
18th May – The Horn, St Albans Tickets
19th May – The Great Escape, Brighton
12th June – Field Day, London
23rd July – Deershed Festival, Thirsk
29th July – Standon Festival, Herts