Declan McKenna plans to keep experimenting.
The 19-year-old British singer-songwriter made a splash last year on both sides of the Atlantic with his debut album, “What Do You Think About the Car?” (Columbia), but says his sound is already evolving.
“I don’t think any of the songs still sound exactly the same,” McKenna says, calling from his home in London before starting a new tour, which stops at the Amityville Music Hall on Monday. “There’s a heavier element to the live show. They are more in the rock-y side. . . . They will continue to change over this tour as we are progressing. I’m excited to try things.”
One thing that won’t change, though, is McKenna’s need to write from his own perspective. What made “What Do You Think About the Car?” so refreshing was that it was an album from a teenager who sounded like a teenager, even as he discussed serious issues like government corruption (“Brazil”) and suicide among LGBTQ teens (“Paracetamol”).
“I was making an album for young people to listen to,” he says. “I was still in school at the time and it was a lot of my perspective on the world. . . . It wasn’t simplified. It was about issues that I know that young people are interested in.”
For “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home,” McKenna went after parents and government leaders, singing, “You don’t know how to give love to anyone.”
“I wrote that from the point of view from someone slightly younger than me,” he says. “It’s from a child’s perspective to help see things in a simple way.”
Exclusive subscription offer
Newsday covers the stories that matter most to Long Islanders. We dig deep to uncover the facts, hold the powerful in check and keep a watchful eye on Long Island.
Your digital subscription, starting at $1, supports local journalism vital to the community.SUBSCRIBE NOW
After the tour, which includes a Saturday slot at Coachella in April, McKenna plans to finish a new album, which he has been writing since last year. “It sounds super different in demo form,” he says, adding that he has been listening to a lot of Abba, David Bowie, Nina Simone and Todd Rundgren. “It’s loosely based around ’70s and ’80s pop. . . . It’s quite a big sound.”
McKenna says that he’s been taken by how difficult it is to capture what Abba accomplished with their music. “They are such great pop songs,” he says of the Swedish Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. “There’s so much drama and energy and sadness. Everything they do is so well-crafted.”
McKenna says he hopes touring places in America that he hasn’t seen yet, including Long Island, will provide some inspiration.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “There’s still so much to do that I haven’t done yet. I haven’t even been to the top of the big skyscrapers.”
WHO Declan McKenna
WHEN | WHERE 6:30 p.m. Monday, Amityville Music Hall, 198 Broadway, Amityville
INFO $15; 877-987-6487, ticketfly.com
Here are 13 websites offering free or discounted tickets to TV tapings, Broadway shows, concerts and more.