Available everywhere Friday 6th March 2020
Stream/Share here: https://newpagans.bandcamp.com/album/glacial-erratic
New Pagans are;
Lyndsey McDougall – vocals
Cahir O’Doherty – guitar
Claire Miskimmin – bass
Conor McAuley – drums
Allan McGreevy – guitar
Charlie has the face of a saint
I could die
‘Glacial Erratic’ is the first EP to be released from New Pagans, and the first time their music has taken physical form. This collection of songs are emblems of the music New Pagans have made over the last few years, and marks the onset of new material in 2020. Parts of ‘Glacial Erratic’ were recorded at Analogue Catalogue with Julie McLarnon, straight to tape, predominantly using technology from 1976 – 1986. This provided the band with the necessary limitations that force experimentation and innovation. The rest of the EP was recorded by the band themselves in their rehearsal space, and in Cahir’s kitchen.
Glacial erratic is a geological term for a rock that differs compositionally from the native rocks around where it is located. As a child Lyndsey was unusually intrigued by a rock she had passed many times on the Ards Peninsula of Northern Ireland. She thought it looked completely out of place but admired its beauty, totally unaware of its geological significance. The collage artwork for the vinyl was formed as a reaction to Lyndsey’s interest in erratics, and is the work of New Pagans bassist, Claire Miskimmin.
A glacial erratic holds the story of its journey in its composition, and can provide valuable historic information to geologists. For New Pagans, glacial erratics act as talismanic emblems of diversity and change. Some of us always feel out of place, in the wrong body, the wrong time or terrain. Perhaps some comfort can be offered by observing these rocks more closely, reminders that being seen as ‘other’ can be both monumental and didactic. Available on all online streaming services on Friday 6th March 2020.
New Pagans create music that is vivid and engaged. The songs have massive riffs and rare dynamics. The lyrics are ready to start conversations and challenge the given ideas. Every release is a throw down, a provocation.
The band is based in Belfast but the band members are drawn from across the north. Lyndsey comes from Enniskillen and is mid-way through a PhD course on Irish embroidery at Ulster University. Cahir, her partner, was raised in Derry and has a blazing history with acts like Fighting With Wire, Jetplane Landing and Frank Turner. Drummer Conor McAuley is from Belfast and has served with Balkan Alien Sound. Bassist Claire has been active with Girls Names and Cruising while Allan ran with Rupture Dogs. This is Lyndsey’s first band.
The band name remembers that the Latin term paganus originally meant villager or outsider. This fits with their mission to stay removed from the city rules and the orthodox. Lyndsey was raised in a climate of religious observance, so her encounters with popular music were furtive and occasional. “It really only started when I was 18,” she says. “I’d heard of Fleetwood Mac but I’d not heard them. As a result, I have a unique way of hearing things.”
Lyndsey’s academic focus is on Women’s History in Ireland, related through arts and crafts. One of the band’s first releases in September 2016 was ‘Lily Yeats’, a tribute to the sister of poet William Butler and artist Jack Butler Yeats. They were the famous boys but Lily also distinguished herself as a great embroiderer. “Women’s history is often underplayed and forgotten,” she says. “Uncovering previously untold stories, I find that an extremely fascinating task. That’s what motivates me to study, and to write music.”
New Pagans released ‘Workers Song’ in January 2017, this time remembering the power of collective effort in stressful times. Lyndsey’s reference point was the Donegal Industrial Fund, from another age but it relates well to our new austerity. ‘Bloody Soil’ in 2018 was another mutinous note from the downtrodden.
Their last release ‘Charlie has the face of a saint’, was an alternative rock ode catalysed by overheard conversations on a Belfast bus. Lyndsey melded together mundane complaints, flippant remarks, weaving the monotonous prosaic language of the everyday commuter into a sort of collage, a Dadaist poem for us to project our own meaning on. The band gained national support for this single via Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), Jack Saunders (BBC Radio 1 Indie Show, Next Wave Artist), Amazing Radio (playlisted), Tara Stewart (RTÉ 2FM) plus BBC Introducing.
Their first release for 2019 was an exceptional, loud reckoning. ‘It’s Darker’ refers to a messy party incident. A musician became aggressive and wouldn’t tolerate Lyndsey’s opinions. “That’s where the original anger comes from – a confrontation. It’s happened to me a few times. It’s like, ‘oh you’re a girl, you should just shut up’. A feminist anger came from that. Yes, I should be able to have an opinion. And it can be different to yours.” The band gained national support for this single via Daniel P Carter [BBC Radio 1], Phil Taggart [BBC Radio 1], Paul McLoone [Today FM], Dan Hegarty [RTE 2FM], John Kennedy [XFM] plus BBC Introducing.
New Pagans played their first live show in April 2017. It was outstanding and subsequent nights have carried a unique charge. The band schedules are designed to fit around parenthood and other duties and Lyndsey believes that this is also a mark of achievement.
“It has turned into a way of showing other people that they can do what they want with their lives, no matter what their circumstances are. If you’ve got two kids and you’re married, it’s OK. If you’re 35, it’s fine. We’re not trying to be a young band. We are what we are – with all that experience.”
“Heavy-hitting and uncompromising.” – THE LAST MIXED TAPE
“New Pagans deliver a slinking, swaggering brand of alternative punk…” – KERRANG!
“Few do dark riff-heavy rock as well as Belfast-based quintet New Pagans, new single ‘It’s Darker’ is a bona fide guitar throttling that doesn’t take itself too seriously despite its ultra-cool veneer.” – REMY
“The energisingly defiant It’s Darker from the Lyndsey McDougall-fronted New Pagans is the latest thumping addition to their slowly expanding arsenal of catchy/crunchy 90s alt-rock informed gems and a fine and fiery follow-up to the thunderous pop riffery of last year’s Bloody Soil.” – IRISH NEWS
“These observations are set against a distorted and swelling sonic landscape – a vivid and engaged style idiosyncratic of the band – which varies between extremes of minimalist passages and immersive crescendos, all the while retaining a profound sense of power, both in music and sentiment.” – Rock N Load
“Incredible songs and lyrics – coupled with an explosive live show and the most charismatic singer in the country make them an unmissable prospect.” – Daily Mirror, N.I