Belfast band New Pagans have released the video for their latest singe ‘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 fourth instalment in a series of self-made folk horror themed short films produced to accompany our music," explains singer Lyndsey. "Set in the stunning local surroundings of Northern Ireland, we tried to evoke a sense of dread and 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 on - 'The Yellow Wallpaper'. It's about the facade and 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.”