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Freelance writer with bylines in The Guardian, The Verge, The Indiependent, The Thin Air, Hot Press + more. Full portfolio at kristensinclair.blogspot.com

Dementia runs in my family on my dad’s side. We sometimes call it ‘doting’ where I’m from. I wouldn’t say this was the reason I began making scrapbooks and journals, but throughout my teenage years, it helped to justify my rather uncool hobby of documenting my life piece by piece. I imagined that one day I’d be a senile old lady able to sit back and read over my life story, significant and insignificant details sellotaped side by side. I’d no doubt forget and read it all over again with renewed amazement.

I vomited on the first scrapbook I ever…


I am 24 and have been type 1 diabetic for thirteen years. Throughout my student life, I worked part-time in the retail and hospitality sectors; roles in these high pressure environments are often unavoidable for young people balancing studies and paying rent. Throwing a disability into this mix only makes for even more of a challenge. Most people with a disability are sadly used to ignorant comments made in passing, but one particular incident has stuck with me as it is one of the few times I have ever been truly angered by a colleague’s remarks.

Whilst on an evening…


“Most of us, I suppose, have a secret country.”

— C.S. Lewis

“The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it. She liked the name, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in, no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place.”

— The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

When I was about six or seven years old, I wrote a story called Skelly the Skeleton. It followed the story of a prince who had been…


‘School of Rrrock!’ in print in Dig With It magazine

An electronic patchwork of moving tiles and faces, some lifting a guitar up to the camera, some poised next to a microphone and all smiling, fill young girls’ computer screens across Ireland and beyond. This virtual band practice is the most recent incarnation of Girls Rock School NI.

Founded at Belfast’s Oh Yeah Music Centre in 2016 as a spinoff of Ladies Rock Camp, Girls Rock is a summer music camp that gives girls and non-binary youth aged 11–16 the opportunity to learn an instrument from scratch, form their own bands, write their own songs and cut their teeth as…


Founder Linda Coogan Byrne

The music industry was rocked last year when publicist and consultant Linda Coogan Byrne released the Gender Disparity Data Report focusing on the amount of Irish radio airplay for domestic artists. The report crunched the numbers to reveal a staggering disparity between the number of Irish men played on national radio compared to the number of women played on the same stations.

The report was collated by data logged on an industry system used to track artists’ airplay and royalties called Radiomonitor. The number of Irish women featuring in stations’ top 20 most played songs was shockingly low compared to…


In Waiting — from Pillow Queens’ Bandcamp

‘Highly anticipated’ is a cliché attached to many debut albums, but after four years of EP releases and relentless touring, In Waiting from Dublin’s Pillow Queens has lived up to its title. Brooding melodies, fuzzy guitar and hazy harmonies meet anthemic choruses in this cathartic exploration of being young in modern Ireland.

Recorded in rural Donegal, the LP sees Pillow Queens grapple with spirituality and religion, family, politics and the crises of late-stage capitalism. Touching on everything from queer identity to life and gentrification in the Irish capital, impassioned vocals channel the anger of punk into rousing indie rock. …


Amy Montgomery live, image courtesy of Chordblossom

“I’m going get my piano tuned now, I’m very excited!” chirps Amy Montgomery as we wrap up our call. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is just over a week away from the release of her debut EP following two new music videos, a string of singles and touring as far away as Australia. The culmination of four years’ work, Intangible is twenty-one minutes of powerful alt rock with squalls of guitar feedback lifted by bright, fluttering synths and vocal prowess akin to Janis Joplin, Alanis Morissette and even Miley Cyrus. …


When Joshua Burnside was about six he planned to run away from home, escaping through his ground floor bedroom window. Finding out about this plan, his older sister warned that if he jumped out the window, he’d go straight through the ground and into the depths of Hell to meet the Devil himself.

That, of course, never happened. But still, the formative memory gives Into the Depths of Hell its title.A follow-up to 2017’s NI Music Prize-winning Ephrata, the album draws on its predecessor’s mélange of Americana, Irish folk and Cumbia rhythms, but with a decidedly darker edge. …


Peter J. McCauley

Peter J. McCauley has spent much of lockdown watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with his wife. Aside from working on his latest LP Amnesty, the singer and multi-instrumentalist has already caught up to season 11. “I like to live in an alternate reality where my opinion on drag artistry matters,” he laughs. It’s a rare period of rest for the Belfast native who is more often found on the road, once touring these islands in a Transit van behind the drum kit for Mojo Fury, and more recently at festivals across the world as Rams’ Pocket Radio.

Under his former alias…


Lisasinson by Victoria Herranz

“Women are at the forefront because naturally we had to be”

Lisasinson

Spanish garage rock is almost entirely synonymous with Hinds, the rambunctious, all-female band who took Madrid’s sounds to international ears in 2016 with their jangly debut Leave Me Alone. Formed in 2011 by Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote, the frontwomen joined forces with bassist Ade Martín and drummer Amber Grimbergen to become Spain’s most internationally successful indie export, sparking an interest in the Spanish capital’s thriving underground scene. …

Kristen Sinclair

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