New Pagans are a exciting quintet who come all the way from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They burst onto the music scene in 2016 with Lily Yeats/ I Could Die. Throughout the following 4 years they’ve gone on to independently drop a further 6 singles, these being Worker’s Song (2017), Ode To None (2017), Bloody Soil (2018), Charlie Has A Face Of A Saint (2019), It’s Darker (2019) and most recently Admire (2020).
Anyhow the people behind the name are Lyndsey McDougall (vocals), Cahir O’Doherty (guitar), Claire Miskimmin (bass), Conor McAuley (drums) and Allan McGreevy (guitar). Based on what I’ve heard, New Pagans are a band to keep a close eye out for in 2020. They were also named on Hot Press’s ‘Hot For 2020’ list and in 2019 were shortlisted for Best Single and Best Live Act at the 2019 Northern Ireland Music Prize.
Now 6th March 2020 saw the unveiling of debut EP Glacial Erratic and this exquisite effort comprised 6 stellar originals. Each of which received the single treatment during the past four years.
It’s Darker: Released 8th March 2019, this tantalising track was an addictive slice of rock/ pop which packed a fierce punch. Everything about this impeccable number was simply spot on, McDougall’s sweet vocal tones had me picturing Hayley Williams, that marvellous melody was infuriating whilst the aggressive lyrical content created an anthem in the making. These words focused on an argument Lyndsey had at a party “It’s all in my head/ What he could have meant/ I’ve got this hope inside me/ And everyone’s looking/ I’m upset” and as she’s a feminist she’s standing up for every single woman. 8th March 2019 just so happened to be International Women’s Day.
Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint: 20th September 2019 saw New Pagans drop this whimsical slice of perfection, actually it was this number which served as my introduction to the band. The moment I heard this cut, I was instantaneously hooked. Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint was pure indie rock, you had a fuzzy mesmeric melody, smooth hypnotic lyrics whilst McDougall’s tantalising tones were candy coated. The whole end product had me picturing Welsh band The Joy Formidable.
I Could Die: Released alongside Lily Yeats in 2016, this high octane track was drenched in plenty of rock goodness. Perfectly written, the impeccable I Could Die was an intense anthem accompanied by edgy guitar riffs and an energetic vocal delivery from Lyndsey McDougall.
Bloody Soil: February 2018 saw this compelling cut enter the public domain and I have to lavish plenty of praise onto it. Now Bloody Soil was an enthralling effort which resonated indie goodness, that blitzing melody was entrancing whist those lyrics resulted in an infectious ear worm. Those verses were impeccable but it was the fast paced chorus which immersed me.
Admire: Released 14th February 2020, this was a catchy cut which I fell for hook, line and sinker. Now that majestic melody resonated a dreaminess and then the guitars increased the intensity. Then you had Lyndsey McDougall’s delicate vocal delivery which again had me envisioning Hayley Williams. We then get to the hypnotic lyrical content, these words were dashed with emotion as they referenced a relationship that’s lost the spark. Even though that burning flame of young love has been extinguished the said person still sticks around “Is love as graceless as it seems?/ As they fall for the Spark of newness/ But I admire you more than then”. In fact this track blossomed from vocalist Lyndsey McDougall’s thoughts about the perseverance and restraint needed to uphold a long-term relationship.
Lily Yeats: Now this was the tune which started it all. This debut was a tribute to the sister of poet William Butler Yeats and the artist Jack Butler Yeats. Released back in 2016, this number was a indie rock jam which enthralled me on the first play through. You had a furious melody, storytelling lyrics and McDougall’s gentle vocal tones, all of which resulted in an atmospheric gem. Actually these whimsical words were inspirational as Lyndsey was urging Lily to gain confidence and she can achieve anything her heart desires “Lily be confident/ But you can be anything”.
Glacial Erratic is available from Bandcamp