Burning out and bouncing back…

For the first time in just under a year, I am back in the recording studio. It’s actually hard to believe that it has been that long and I suspect people have wondered why I have been so musically quiet this year. For 2 years, I consistently released my music. Starting with the first release ‘Moody Blues’ in February 2011, followed by ‘Green Eyed Monster’ in June and ‘Dance With Me’ in December. Then in 2012, I prepared, planned and recorded my debut EP ‘10,000’, which I released in August last year and it included two new single releases and a tour. ‘10,000’ was a milestone for me but it also began a period of ‘burnout’. Having packed up my belongings from the classroom where I taught up until June 2010, the pressures of self-management, funding, promotion etc took its toll by November 2012 and it was time to stop for a little bit. The constant pressures, meeting the bills, managing a music career and just trying to have some form of normal life got too much and I was forced to stop thinking about it all for a while.

Truth is, I never ever stop thinking about it all. I did however manage to find a good mental space to adjust again and to deal with any disillusionment, frustrations and general fatigue that working in the music industry brings. Winning the ‘MRU’ Best Female in December 2012 was just incredible. It was a fantastic acknowledgement of my two and a half years of effort and commitment and for a week or two, the buzz from the award gave me a new lease of life. I really believe that award events like the MRU (Music Review Unsigned) are so important and its really important that events like this happen every year!

Of course with the beginning of a new year, it also meant the start of the music plans for the year ahead. By the time it got to the third week in January I had a release schedule and project description prepared. To cut a long story short, a series of unexpected musical diversions took place and the schedule changed within the space of the next month. I was a little concerned about not sticking to the plan but it appears to have been a little blessing in disguise.

It’s now the middle of May 2013 and the creative spark is very much alight again and naturally with getting older, I do think a new musical maturity has come with it. I am back working with Martin Quinn at Jam Studios in Kells and we are trying out some new sound ideas. I don’t want to give too much away but we are using a very electronic starting point infused with some rock music features and not forgetting my little love for pop and classical music!!

Ok, so that description hasn’t helped but in simple terms I have grown up. The last couple of years have been a series of highs and lows and I have learned to take advice, something I wasn’t so good at starting out. I know what I want to do and I also know what I need to do. I believe its about finding the balance between making a personal decision and making a business decision. I make no excuses for following some musical trends and I don’t buy into the potential criticism’s about compromising my art or creativity. For me and for the moment anyway, it’s a business and I must make decisions that ensure it becomes a successful business.

However, I do look forward to the day when I can sit in a studio and record a 10 minute long song with whatever sounds I choose knowing that the song is purely an expression of myself at that moment in time with no time constraints or financial pressures.

In the meantime, it’s back to the tracks. Very excited about the new music. Watch this space..


All my music is available to buy from digital music stores, iTunes, Amazon etc.
To contact me, please email: mcnallysinead@hotmail.com


‘Northern Borders’ – In memory of a great soul, gone too soon..

I attended the wake of a young man who I had never met. I attended it with someone who did know him and thought a great deal of him. For some reason, I was really affected by his passing. Perhaps that was the fact that every time I heard his name mentioned, it was mentioned in such good spirit and with great respect. I was a little nervous attending his wake, not knowing any of his family or his friends but on my way there, I was just lost in thought for him and here are those thoughts..

Traveling northern borders and back over them again

Spring turning to Summer on a long May weekend

Many songs have been written of the places we pass

Many troubled times engraved on coloured paths

Our road continues north though it’s end is in the south

I never got to meet you, now I’m visiting your house

The ‘Hills of Donegal’ a song you sang with pride

Their beauty lines our route as though they’re on our side

Knowing what’s ahead and the sorrow that we’ll see

The hills of Donegal embrace all that we feel

I heard your name a lot and likewise you heard mine

Today I’ll say hello to you, rather than say goodbye

I thank you for the journey that you’ve brought me on

Inspiring this poem and soon to be a song


Now that we’ve met in your most welcoming home

Set by the sea with a beach of your own

Your brothers and sisters so strong in their grief

Your mother so lost in an aching disbelief

Her youngest of seven with the spring in his shoes

Resting in peace in her front room

She spoke about her heartache missing your big smile

As her fork scraped the plate with the neighbour’s shepherds pie

Brownies and scones, marshmallow crispy buns

The sweetness of the gifts to ease the sadness for their son

I can’t say I’ll miss you for we only have just met

It’s the people I said goodbye to that never will forget

Thank you for this visit to a place I never knew

A place I will return to and always think of you

Traveling northern borders and back over them again

I wish I’d known you better, I wish I’d been your friend


‘Women Who Rock’

'Women Who Rock'

Capturing the fun and spirit of the debut ‘Women Who Rock’ gig on May 3rd 2013.

Performing on the night were: Suzie Whelan, Clara Rose Monahan, Rachael McCormack, Sinead White and Carly Cúna and myself Sinead McNally. We held the event at Bewleys Cafe Theatre, Grafton Street, Dublin. An incredible night of blues, pop, rock, folk and even a touch of RnB.. Amazing! Watch this space for more information on the next one.