V13 last spoke to Lyndsey McDougall, vocalist with indie-punks New Pagans, in 2021, shortly after International Womens Day. At the time, the Irish indie band had just released their critically-acclaimed new album, The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All.

Two years later and the Belfast band has just released their new recording, Making Circles Of Our Own, through Big Scary Monsters. So, now seemed like the perfect time to catch up with Lyndsey to see how things have been going with the band since.

Have attitudes toward women in the music industry changed? What are the themes inspiring their latest record? Join us as we dig into these topics and then some!

Great to catch up again, Lyndsey. As we continue into 2023, you must be excited to have the new record out.

Lyndsey McDougall: “It feels good to share these songs with everyone; we’re very proud of this album.”

Theme-wise, the album again includes personal experiences. Can you tell us a couple of the experiences that have inspired those songs?

“The lyrics have been inspired by my experience as a researcher (I’m just in the middle of editing and finishing my Ph.D. thesis), a mother, a woman in her thirties, my life basically. I wrote about the Swedish artist Karin Bergöö Larsson whose work was often overshadowed and underappreciated. I also wrote about Derek Jarman and his beautiful garden at Prospect Cottage.

“Due to Covid 19 and restrictions around live music, we had to move out of our apartment (Cahir and I are married) and in with my parents for a little while. Most of the album was written then, and on reflection, I think the overarching theme is around domesticity, home, and family. Only, under the realization that a good family and a sense of home don’t always look like it does in the movies.”

We last spoke just after International Women’s Day in 2021. What do you think has changed, if anything, in regard to attitudes to women in the music industry?

“I’m not sure anything has changed drastically since then; I mean, I hope we are on an upward trajectory of respect and equality for all.”

What about outside music? One of your comments was about wanting to see more women in positions of leadership. Have you seen that?

“I think it is slowly getting better, and I certainly believe it’s going to become increasingly difficult for brands, labels, and bands to ignore gender gaps within their teams.”

“I think the overarching theme is around domesticity, home, and family. Only, under the realization that a good family and a sense of home don’t always look like it does in the movies.”

What about attitudes towards your own band? Do you still experience negative attitudes because you’re a woman singing in a band?

“That’s a difficult question to answer; I’m not sure. Apparently, I have so much going against me; not only am I a woman, but I’m no longer a young woman. So, in many ways, I have sexism and ageism to contend with. However, those two qualities also make what we produce as a band unique and interesting. I wouldn’t have been able to write these songs in my twenties; they’re part of my experience now as a Mother, artist, and researcher.”

On the track “Karin Was Not A Rebel,” you chose to write about Karin Bergöö Larsson. Can you talk us through what inspired you about Karin?

“Yes, I wrote about the Swedish artist Karin Bergöö Larsson whose work was often overshadowed and underappreciated. She made a beautiful home in Sweden which her husband Carl Larsson often depicted in his paintings. He became very famous; however, it was arguably Karin’s interior style that was the most unique thing about his work. They were both important in influencing the Scandinavian style many of us appreciate today. I wanted to focus on Karin because her story is often overshadowed by her husband’s.”

New Pagans ‘Making Circles of Our Own’ Album Artwork
New Pagans ‘Making Circles of Our Own’ Album Artwork

Your own studies have taken her through the history of Irish women. What have you taken away from those studies, and how has that been built into your lyrics / the band?

“I’ve realized I love the underdog, the forgotten and not yet revealed narratives of women and others who have been marginalized throughout history. Cahir calls me I’m like a detective sometimes, and I suppose going through the process of writing a thesis is a bit like being one. I’m probably happiest when I’m surrounded by archival boxes and pieces of paper, searching for stories from the past.

“There’s so much we can learn about ourselves by looking back, sometimes we even have to edit how history has been constructed in order to make room for the overlooked. I suppose my contribution to that is through my lyrics.”

As you write from a personal viewpoint in terms of your own experiences, what do you hope someone takes away from listening to the new record and your lyrics?

“I hope at least some people just really love listening to the album. Some people will enjoy the music and others might look a little deeper into the lyrics, but it really doesn’t matter either way.”

If someone asked for advice as a female starting out in the music industry, what advice would you give them?

“I would say, know yourself and be yourself and always try to enjoy the experience.”

In terms of inspirational females, you toured with Skunk Anansie. What did you learn from being around someone like Skin for a period of time?

“We toured with Skin when Covid restrictions were still quite strict throughout Europe, so we had minimum contact with the band for most of the tour. However, I did manage to have a few wonderful conversations with Skin, and she was so lovely, open, and encouraging about New Pagans. Honestly, her voice is one of the best in the world, and I feel very privileged that I got to hear her and watch her work every night for a month! As a vocalist, I learned so much.”

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

“We’re heading out on a small Irish tour shortly, and we have a few summer festivals lined up, so we are excited about that.”

Considering I asked this question last time we spoke. If we catch up again in twelve months, how do you hope the music industry attitudes have changed towards women?

“I hope that by next summer, we see more female musicians in prominent slots at festivals throughout the UK/Ireland and beyond. I hope we have much more diversity in general.”

Thanks again for your time. Just to wrap up; any final words to finish off?

“Just a thank you to everyone who has taken the time to listen to our new album; we really appreciate every tiny drop of support we receive.”


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.