Pride Profiles: Niall McDowell

Photo by Aaron Cunningham

To celebrate Pride, we’ll be highlighting a different Irish artist from the LGBTQIA+ community each day in June as part of our Pride Profiles series.

By Ellen Pentony

Listen If You Like

Lucy Dacus, Father John Misty, CMAT 

Who He Is

Antrim singer/songwriter Niall McDowell is the latest artist making country music cool again. Like CMAT, McDowell uses the structure and sound of the genre to sing about modern themes. His latest release “Do You Think I’m Pretty” is a tongue-in-cheek exploration of insecurity and narcissism. Placed within a queer context, the track takes on a satirical meaning as McDowell plays with pronouns and gender. Writing about another man, they sing: “There’s only so much waiting around a girl can do / until it all falls through.” 

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. “Do You Think I’m Pretty” is the first of a series of singles McDowell is releasing this year, each one exploring a different musical genre. We can expect more of their insightful and skilled songwriting in the near future.