On the radar: John B McKenna
John B McKenna is a curious sort.
Blessed with an innate understanding of melody and visuals, the 21-year-old Glaswegian has always appeared somewhat reluctant to make his mark on the local scene; forever veiled behind an array of abstract pseudonyms and ad-hoc ensembles.
But, slowly, things have started to change. By setting out under his own name with a band of four behind him, McKenna's finally taken charge of his own destiny.
"Recently we have formed a full band line-up for the music I previously performed solo - under the name Monoganon," explains McKenna. "So the last three months we have been in a small practise space under the Kingston Bridge, where no-one can hear us scream, practising harmonies and the like."
(Play: John B McKenna - Keep Me In The Dark on the green button]
Citing the likes of Neil Young, Grandaddy, Nirvana and Bruce Springsteen ("The Boss was the bane of my childhood excursions with the family," he bemoans) as influences, McKenna's music is in many ways predictable; his pensive, self-interrogating lyrics are strewn across a patchwork of creeping acoustic guitar.
Yet the fortitude of his laconic brogue and tumbling strums dispels any fears of pointless retreading. This is a man set entirely on progress, be it via an eye for the abstract (see his website's striking robo-retro design) or an ear for the beautiful (his free to download demos are a stellar indication of his talents).
McKenna, however, seems unsure as to where destiny lies: "I don't know exactly what we are doing, yet," he says reservedly. "There is a world of ways we could go all ending in different achievements - one of them could be finding the musical elixir of life. I'd like to say we could achieve that but I don't want to limit our ambition with that as the ultimate goal."
He may not know it, but for John B McKenna the possibilities are endless.
• For more blogs on the best unsigned bands in Scotland, visit Under the Radar
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Friday 24 May 2013
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