“The soundtrack of my deepest fears.” Why now was the right time to release my new single. #NALLY

nally-mysilentnight-1450pxLet me introduce you to ‘My Silent Night’, a song I wrote a few years ago but was waiting on the right time to release it. The song was three quarters of the way through the production stage when I pressed pause on it. That was November 2013 and I was exhausted. I didn’t have the energy or interest to release the new songs I had begun writing and producing so I put everything on hold and trusted that I’d know when the time was right for me to release the song.

Fast forward three more years and with a renewed energy and a deeper sense of understanding of myself, I am happy and proud to share ‘My Silent Night’ with you. It’s an eerie little song, definitely a lot more moodier and ambient than my previous singles. It’s inspired by the traditional ‘Silent Night’ that we all know. I thought it would be cool to take the idea and structure of the original and create something alternative, something dark. The song begins with whispering. I actually recorded myself saying ‘You’re not good enough’ backwards, which was good fun even though it was tricky. The producer Martin Quinn then decided to reverse that phrase again to really mess things up. Recording this song was so much fun. I didn’t want to create something for radio, I just wanted to create something that was totally me and to my surprise it all came out a little off centre and a lot less mainstream. I have to say, I’m very happy with that. Creating easily digestible, popular music to get on the radio is fine in the case where someone asks you to write a catchy hook or phrase that stays with the listener for hours, days maybe. But I just wanted to make something that was interesting to me. Maybe it’s the music nerd in me. I’m happy to know the little secrets behind the various layers of the music. Even if no-one else gets it, I do and I’m more than happy to share the detail with anyone who asks. It may all seem a little selfish but I wanted to be able to stand over my new releases and say, yes as weird and wacky as it may be, they were my choices and my preferences.

My first few years releasing music taught me I could handle the mainstream stuff. I know how to put together a good pop song. But as an artist in my own right ie. NALLY, I didn’t want to do that anymore. Plus let’s not beat around the bush here, I’m a lot older now. When I made my first EP, I was 27 and then at 30 I left my job to focus on writing and releasing music. I’m now 37 and while I don’t see that as a bad thing, I am inevitably more aware of who I am as a songwriter and also as an artist. I deliberately separate the two now. In the beginning, it was all the one; an experiment in music.

Before signing off, I’d just like to explain what ‘My Silent Night’ means for me. I already explained that I pressed pause on releasing it in 2013 when it was well into the production stages. While I had gone through a tough few years up until then with short bouts of burnout and depression, the song never felt more attached to me as it did when I found out this year that my body wasn’t exactly working efficiently enough for me to have children without the help of specialists. It took months for the news to sink in and while I am still a long way from understanding how I feel about it, I know that my whole identity took a knock. The one role in life that we feel is a given, a certainty, a role we put off stepping into while we define ourselves in our careers.. All of a sudden, I hadn’t a clue who I was or what I was meant to do. And that is exactly what ‘My Silent Night’ stands for. It will mean something different for other people and that’s great. I love that about music. But for me personally it’s about my identity and the if’s and buts I now have in my life since I got that news. Some fears are temporary and some last much longer. I am a very positive person in life but I also learned over the years that we need to honour all our emotions, sit with them and accept that they are there so that we can find a way to feeling better in ourselves.

And here my friends is my musical take on what those fears and anxieties sound and feel like. Hope you enjoy… (this is a free link to listen to the track but if you would like to support it further, you can purchase it on iTunes for 99cent or any good digital stores. Stream it on Spotify, Apple Music etc) Links below..


PS. Have a close look at the artwork. Maybe now that you know the background, the contents of the image will make sense.










‘Feeling great, eating ice-cream’..The sadness behind the LOL’s :(

Because of the nature of my work, I’ve had a lot of time off in the past few weeks. It has given me a chance to be still. I regularly sit on my own just doing nothing. (I know, I sound like a complete crazy woman). Other times I write music or read, maybe make some notes on projects and ideas that I would like to work on later in the year. I’ve enjoyed just recollecting and reflecting on my life and I’ve also enjoyed being ‘present’ in the presence of others. There are many great benefits to having this time to myself and it really gives me an opportunity to take stock of situations, relationships and life going on around me. By getting out of the rat race for a while, the pace of my life has slowed down. I can take more in and I can give more out. However, what I’ve seen and heard over the past few weeks has really upset me and I felt I needed to address it in a blog post, even though my blog is generally about all things musical!

I’ve been so, so saddened by the pain and worry that so many people are carrying around. So many of the people I’ve been in company with over the past few weeks are really hurting inside, in despair or lonely. I’ve asked my husband if he felt it too and he was certainly aware of it. Perhaps because I have had time to sit with it, I am really feeling it and taking it in and most importantly questioning it. I am very much aware that I am off the conveyor belt madness right now and I can see all the people in my life who are running like mad to keep up with it. It leaves them no time whatsoever to deal with themselves, to process an emotion that came completely unexpectedly, to reflect on how they feel about their work or their relationship etc etc. There just isn’t the time! #ticktock


Another thing I’ve really noticed is that people expect so much more from each other all the time. Within work, family and day to day life, we demand more and more. In turn, we expect more from ourselves and by not fulfilling all of the demands we put on ourselves, we end up feeling totally inadequate and often then resentful of others.

I believe that the root to a lot of this demand and expectation comes from the ‘illusion’ or as I like to call it ‘the delusion’. It takes less than five minutes on social media to go from being in a good, positive and focused head-space to suddenly feeling like everyone else’s life is so much better than our own. Right now, I look ridiculous. Pyjama bottoms and slippers, hair all over the place, stuffing my face with a toastie. You don’t need to know that though and even better, I can upload a photo right now, one that was taken 2 years ago, contoured up to the eyeballs looking like the world is at my feet and caption it ‘Feeling Amazeballs, Life is Great’. And within a split second, you are now part of the illusion that everything is great in my life and I look 10 years younger than I actually am. And I can do that again and again and again and again until eventually you have a perception of me that is way, way off anything close to the truth. We become less connected to each other, with less in common every day with lives that are illusion’s apart.

Fact is, we all need each other as much if not more than we ever did before. We all have challenges, that part of it has never and will never change. What has changed, and it’s only my opinion, is that we are less aware of ourselves and of each other. We are strangers who see pictures and posts of each other looking our best, feeling great, eating ice-cream, LOL… How can any of us truly be honest about the crap day we’ve had, or the relationship breakdown, or the overwhelming debt etc, if we are conditioning ourselves to share only the days when we look and feel amazing? It worries me that kids nowadays value themselves on likes and shares and the illusion that we as adults consciously create is actually their reality.

I know it is totally unusual for me to write about subjects like this but I have to say it how I see it. Many people are sad and very much alone. If we can perhaps slow things down and be a little more present with ourselves first, then maybe we can start to reach out again and connect. Telling it how it really is and not courtesy of the app that gives you a thousand options on how you feel or look at any particular moment in time…

The Invitation Quote


The First #sRated Milestone!


My own dressing room and a cup of tea…. well if that isn’t a good way to start back on the road gigging, I don’t know what is!! 🙂 Last night was such a buzz. I hadn’t gigged in such a long time and I was mad to get back out there and sing my songs, telling the stories and doing my usual mad leg movements that happen under the piano as I play. The venue was incredible too. It was the Íontas Theatre in Castleblayney, Co.Monaghan and from everything to the dressing rooms, to the main theatre and foyer, it’s just a fab place to play. The sound was also superb! When you arrive somewhere and know that you are dealing with top class facilities, it makes you feel so much more relaxed, confident and excited. Iontas Theatre

As a performer, the audience cannot be seen at all from the stage. You can hear them shuffle and cough and clap but you cannot see a soul. It’s a little weird singing out and simling at a black canvas but it gets you into a zone and its ALL about the performance.


I did a 25 minute set that included my opening piece that includes a section of a Mendellsohn piece of music that develops into one of my own songs ‘Showtime’. Its a little opener to my set and I really enjoy the blend of genres. Following that I did an old number ‘Fix You Up’ and managed to get the audience singing along with me.. After that was my newest song and with the lyrics only finalised about 4 hours before the gig, I wasn’t convinced I could pull it off but for a first performance, it went better than expected!

After that, I read out my poem ‘Northern Borders’ https://sineadmcnally.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/northern-borders/ which I accompany with my own take on the well known ballad ‘Hills of Donegal’. It’s a difficult one as the emotion is high throughout but people got it and that’s what’s special about sharing it. I finished up my set with ‘Ship Street’,

one of my favourite songs that I wrote last Summer after a visit to Brighton to attend a female songwriting workshop with Fiona Bevan and Kal Lavelle. Fiona wrote One Directions ‘Little Things’. Hence the line in the song that says “I got lost in love and loss and all those little things..”

I finished up a very enjoyable, emotional and buzzing set with one off my debut EP ‘Something Has Changed’, a piece in 6/8 time that is a lot of fun and quite tricky on the fingers!!

Thanks to Barry Jay Hughes, to all at the Iontas Theatre and to all who bought and ordered my CD’s. Over the next few years, I will work towards a changing room of my own in the 3 Arena!! Dream big!! Chat soon x