The band use their creative influence to challenge past and present issues surrounding relationships, equality, history, and gender, all wrapped up in their alternative, post-punk, indie rock style. With ‘Yellow Room’ the band tackle another important topic surrounding the issue of motherhood within the music industry and the lack of support for women with perinatal mental health needs, particularly in Northern Ireland.
This often-muted subject is something that personally hits home with lead singer and lyricist Lyndsey McDougall who is a mother herself. The track is based on the short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which is celebrated as an important piece of early American feminist literature.
Many believe it deals with the topic of postnatal depression which is something Lyndsey has witnessed some of her close friends struggle with. “When you become a mother for the first time the nights are often the most difficult“, she explains, “Long, lonely hours in the dark, feeding, worrying and watching.
“‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, although an example of gothic horror, was a comfort to me as I struggled to make sense of all the new emotions and implications of having another human being to look after. It made me feel less alone in the shock of becoming a mother.”
With the new single New Pagans aim to encourage recognition for mothers within the industry and specifically highlight the need for a specialised parent-and-baby mental health unit in Northern Ireland; something which has been improved in England, Scotland and Wales.
“We hope everyone can become a little more comfortable with this topic, we personally want to see the narratives of mothers/parents/carers included and considered in every industry. We need to ask ourselves why we are so uncomfortable with discussing it and why we feel it’s not relevant.
“Motherhood doesn’t define me but it definitely shouldn’t be something I hide or feel ashamed about. We need to challenge the perception that women who become mothers have less to add to the conversation.”
New Pagans are one of the most exciting and interesting rising acts, both sonically and visually. As a collective they offer a wealth of artistic scope from Lyndsey’s skills in Irish embroidery, her historical knowledge and distinctive vocals, bassist Claire’s visual artistry and talents as a director, to the musical experience of guitarists Cahir O’Doherty (Jetplane Landing, Fighting With Wire), Alan McGreevy and drummer Conor McAuley.
Their presence has been continuing to build and in 2019 they were shortlisted for ‘Best Single’ with their track ‘It’s Darker’ and ‘Best Live Act’ at the 2019 Northern Ireland Music Prize as well as named on Hot Press’s ‘Hot For 2020’ list with the release of the Glacial Erratic EP.
They’ve also received ongoing support from BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio 1 by the likes of Chris Hawkins, Daniel P Carter, Phil Taggart, Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders as well as John Kennedy at Radio X, BBC Introducing, Kerrang Radio, Amazing Radio and more for the singles ‘It’s Darker’, ‘Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint’ and ‘Admire’, which all feature on the EP.
They also celebrated its release with their first UK headline tour in March this year visiting Nottingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, London and Bristol.
The New Pagans voice is a loud and important one, with much more still to come for 2020 and beyond.