Belfast band New Pagans have released the video for their latest single ‘Yellow Room’, which was also Steve Lamacq’s ‘Record Of The Week’ on BBC 6 Music. The video was directed by bassist Claire Miskimmin and the powerful visuals aim to highlight the plight that women face of being oppressed in a patriarchal society, in a kaleidoscopic yet darkly ethereal manner.
“Yellow Room is the 4th instalment in a series of self-made folk horror-themed short films produced to accompany our music. Set in the stunning local surroundings of Northern Ireland, we tried to evoke a sense of dread & isolation in the expanse of nature. In stifling a woman's mind we take away her liberty, as in the novel the song is based - the Yellow Wallpaper. It's about the facade & the masks we wear, but break the surface and we find our protagonist's strength. She cuts herself free and is set adrift. "
Both the track and video take inspiration from the novel ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which is celebrated as an important piece of early American feminist literature which focuses on attitudes towards mental and physical health of women in the 19th century.
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. In particular the need for specialised parent-and-baby mental health units in Northern Ireland; something which has been improved in England, Scotland and Wales.
This often-muted subject is something that personally hits home with lead singer and lyricist Lyndsey McDougall who is a mother herself.
“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.”
Watch the video for ‘Yellow Room’ - BELOW:
New Pagans are one of the most exciting and interesting rising acts, both sonically and visually and the new single follows the release of their Glacial Erratic EP, which feature the singles ‘It’s Darker’, ‘Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint’ and ‘Admire’.
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 for their Glacial Erratic EP.
As well as ‘Yellow Room’ being Steve Lamacq’s ‘Record Of The Week’, the band have 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.
The New Pagans voice is a loud and important one, with much more still to come for 2020 and beyond.