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Niall McDowell

Alternative // Belfast, Antrim // he/they

After the release of their single, 'Brokeback', Niall McDowell's EP 'It Was An Honour To Be Nominated', the follow-up to their debut lo-fi EP 'Valentine' in 2019 and the first release for McDowell with full band recordings, is out now.

"I have been working on these songs over the course of the past two years, and I'm very proud to finally have a small body of work that exemplifies my ever-changing style as an artist. I started to release music just before the pandemic, and since then I've felt very disconnected from any kind of scene as a queer songwriter, and the creation of this project has been incredibly validating in moving closer to finding community, to understanding more about the craft of songwriting and coming to terms with my own feelings surrounding grief and loss. There's a mesh of narratives within these five songs, written as I grappled with situations in real time, and in the end I believe it came together as a time-capsule more than anything, of a chapter that I am relieved to be over with but grateful to have experienced." —Niall McDowell

'It Was An Honour To Be Nominated' balances the maximal and minimal leanings of McDowell's songwriting; the spacey, sombre fingerpicking folk of 'Brokeback'; the full-blown country and western in 'Tennessee'; the 90s dream-pop in 'Down To You; the 60s crooning within 'Personal Hell'. All of this culminates in the title track, that stands as a fierce, earnest mission statement, as McDowell chants to whoever will listen that they just don't get it yet.

"McDowell’s voice is liquid gold, embroidering a bed of ornamented riffs with tender, defiant and honest lyrics that could make Alanis Morrisette, Elliot Smith or Liz Phair proud. It is heartfelt, witty, charming and raw." God Is In The TV

"‘Do You Think I’m Pretty?’ is a vivid snapshot of an artist swiftly on the rise." The Thin Air

"Addictive" - Hot Press for Track of the Day.

"Popstar" - GoldenPlec

"Niall McDowell is the latest artist making country music cool again... Personable and unpretentious, his stream-of-consciousness lyricism is akin to the boygenius crew, subtly and humorously evoking the trials and tribulations of modern queer dating." Nameless Faceless Magazine

"Heartbreak Specialist" BBC Across The Line

"Musically, McDowell’s melancholic voice and understated guitar playing have got off to a strong start in a live setting.” —Chordblossom


We were blown away by Niall's voice" -The Duncairn

"Full of life and charm" -Nialler9

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