New song snippets…

This weekend, I thought it would be nice to sit at the piano and share snippets of some of the new material I have been writing. I have chosen three songs to share little sections of with you today – ‘Digging Holes’, ‘Put it in a Box’ and ‘A Million Hearts’. All of the songs need a little tug here and there, words need changing, bridges need fixing etc but at just over 8 minutes long, this little Soundcloud link should cover the time it takes to sit back with a cuppa and enjoy a little break!

New Song Snippets

Advertisements
Video

‘Just For Today’ Lego Animation Music Video

Last year I met a lovely young family from my town. Their Dad had only just passed away and wanted me to know that my music had been a great source of enjoyment and comfort for them. It was such a bittersweet introduction. I met them at the grounds of the church for the first time, just as the funeral was leaving the church to go to the graveyard. I promised them there and then that I would visit them and perhaps play some music with them. We met a few months later and spent an evening together having great fun and even jammed together. They showed me their Lego animations and I was really amazed at the standard and the work that went into their productions.

Fast forward nearly 12 months later and I have this absolutely gorgeous Lego animation video for a song they chose off my EP ‘Just For Today’. I am so proud to have my music part of this. We released it on the 20th January and all proceeds from the sale of the song go to an Irish charity for depression called ‘Aware’. I hope you enjoy it and please take time to read their story in the video description! Thanks, Sinead

‘The Ballad of the Tiger’

I wrote this poem earlier this year and then wrote music for it. I am in the process of recording it and filming a video so that I can share it online with you all.  I hope the poem and the song will help people grieve for the many difficult changes and losses in their lives over the past 5 years and perhaps help us all to move on and have hope for the future..

‘The Ballad of the Tiger’ by Sinéad McNally

We’ve all been a little bit downWe’ve taken a beating but we never made a sound

All the bruises and marks on our skin are sinking in

Building dreams by digging holes

Concrete fields and show homes

Forgotten dreams now it’s all gone to waste

On the ghost estates

 

They spent, they lied, we lost we cried together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together

 

Lining up instead of clocking in

Moving out instead of moving in

All we own for sale on the cheap just to make ends meet

We carry on as our loved ones disappear

For a better life in a place overseas

Two clocks ticking on the wall telling times abroad

 

They spent, they lied, we lost, we cried together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together

 

Savings schemes, government bonds

They kept on giving until it was gone

No convictions for the debt that they caused, we took it all

A nation’s loss is another one’s gold

They sit round tables and tell us what we owe

It’s you and me and the people next door who feel it more

 

They spent, they lied, we lost and we cried together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together

They spent, they lied but we’ll work and we’ll rise together

 

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..

Image

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

Aside

‘In the club’ – A dance music experiment!

Deadmau5

Deadmau5 – A little bit of inspiration for this project..

Yesterday I had my first experience of laying down vocal ideas on a club track. I am a big fan of club music but have never really explored writing it or even collaborating on it. A few weeks ago I got a message from a DJ in Holland, who had found me on ‘Labbler’ and thought my vocal style might suit his tracks. So, we agreed to do a little experimenting and he sent me a couple of tracks he had without any vocals on them and it was my job to come up with lyrics and melody.

For me, it was important surround myself completely in the style of music I was writing for a few days beforehand, just to be in that space and to take on the role of a vocalist in this genre. I listened to a lot of ‘Deadmau5’ and really got into it. So my ears have been thumping behind my beats for a couple of days and it’s been a fun experience. The approach I took was to put myself in the position of the audience and try to imagine how they might respond to the track. I also really examined the feel of the track, it’s progression, it’s texture and tone and I built some lyrics around all of those factors.

I worked on the track in Offaly with a good friend of mine Derek who has built his own home studio and it was also a little bit of an adventure on his part too. We spent a lot of time breaking down the way in which I sang the lyrics to really ensure it became one with the track as though both parts were built into each other rather than two separate parts!

The thing that struck me the most was the way in which this style of music is all about layering and building, re-building, breaking down etc. It was a great start to a style of music that I really hope to do a lot of. In the meantime, we have to tidy up on yesterdays recordings, send off to the DJ in Holland and hope what we did ticks the majority of the boxes for him. If not, I will enjoy the next experiment and writing experience and hopefully learn the methods and formulas for being a good vocalist for dance/club music and maybe even experiment writing some tracks myself!!

Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to ‘Showtime’. A blog that I hope to post in most days about life and the adventures of a 4foot 11inch piano playing singer/songwriter. I will be as honest as possible at all times and share with you the highs and lows of a career in the music and entertainment industry! At this very moment in time, I work completely independently and manage all events, releases etc myself.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME……

A doodle of me!

A doodle of me!

A six year old girl gave me this sketch as a present one day when she came for her piano lesson. As I have bright red hair, I’m sure that explains her choice of colour. As for the giant sized head, I hope that’s a sign that she believes I have lots of information stored in there!!! 🙂 In a nutshell, my ambition is to have a succesful career as a songwriter and performer. I am also very passionate about music education but my priority at the moment is to make my music known around the world so I can continue to put bread and butter on the table. At the moment I make my money mostly from cover gigs and teaching piano. I have also started to make money from royalties, mostly radio play. So, the plan for 2013 is to use all I’ve learned since I started out in 2010 and continue to build on it.

The title of the blog comes from a song I wrote in 2011 about being finally ready in life to get on that ‘stage’ and do what I love to do. “This is my showtime, going to take it and make it mine.”

Please take a seat and let me entertain you..