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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Most Normal Evening in East Lansing | “Mulholland’s Dinner and Wine” by Declan McKenna

Most+Normal+Evening+in+East+Lansing+%7C+%26%238220%3BMulholland%26%238217%3Bs+Dinner+and+Wine%26%238221%3B+by+Declan+McKenna

The final single released before the official Feb. 9 drop of rising pop-rock singer-songwriter Declan McKenna’s newest LP, What Happened to The Beach? is a fun listen. “Mulholland’s Dinner and Wine” feels like a centerpiece track to the album, falling comfortably in the middle, yet noticeably being one of the best produced and most well thought out songs on the record. This track is vibey and energetic. Gianluca Buccellatti — known for work with Arlo Parks — is credited for production, making for a synth-y, alternative sound that gives a less self-serious, slightly more technically skilled Tame Impala type of vibe. Online critics are comparing the track to something on Sufjan Stevens’ more playful side.

In “Mulholland’s Dinner and Wine,” McKenna proposes a golf cart ride to the listener, suggesting hitting up Mulholland’s — an off-brand liquor store in McKenna’s native corner of Ireland — for drinks, making use of “all of the drugs” and eschewing the monotony of usual life for the evening. While this song is thematically the same as a lot of out-on-the-town “let’s go wild” type tunes — Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK,” for example —, it’s not anywhere near as pop-y. It’s a low-key, contemporary, cruising tune with some criminal edge, but it remains accessible and never tries too hard. 

McKenna pulled off a masterful balancing act with this track, keeping it engaging, fresh and extremely vibey. Each verse flows smoothly into the next, but the melodies are all distinct. The production is rich and pleasurable to listen to, yet it’s a unique song. Overall, this was a top three song from a real triumph of an album and a worthy centerpiece for the work that McKenna put together in What Happened to the Beach?

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