Irish-born singer-songwriter Moncrieff – winner of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for Irish Song of the Year 2023 for his 2022 smash ‘Warm – has released his incredible new EP ‘Highways & Hurricanes’, via BMG / energie. Listen here.
Following the massive success of last year’s ‘Warm’ EP, ‘Highways & Hurricanes’ is an unflinchingly honest, deeply personal collection of songs that deal with love, loss, struggle, vulnerability and finding inner strength. A stunning testament to his growth as a songwriter, Moncrieff’s latest body of work offers an intimate sonic portrait of an exceptional musician who isn’t afraid to address his demons in the studio.
On the surface, new single ‘Young Men’ is a slice of exuberant, summer pop that encapsulates the carefree feeling of a road trip; meanwhile, the lyrics deliver an important message around mental health and speak of painful experiences of growing up in rural Ireland. Listen here.
Moncrieff says: “Young Men is a song centred around what it’s like to grow up as a man in a small town. I wrote this song after losing one of my oldest friends to suicide in late 2021. Losing him broke me and my whole group of friends, and I think I initially wrote this song to help us remember him and so that we never lose another one of us again.
Where I’m from, the status quo is If you have a problem, you just have to man up and deal with it or failing that, as is so common where I’m from, all problems are pushed down and drowned with pints, joy-riding, drugs, fighting and other destructive behaviour. As a result, young men don’t talk and have become experts at camouflaging their pain, often until it’s tragically too late.
I’m tired of it being the same tragic story, where it feels like guys fall off the face of these small towns like flies, when it doesn’t have to be that way.
The song was written so that young men can feel seen and hopefully do something to normalise reaching out when you’re struggling. You’re a human being not a machine. You can’t hold the world on your own – Turn on the light and talk to someone.”
Elsewhere on the EP, Moncrieff presents his own rules for life on ‘9 Lessons’ (addressed to his late brother), offers an intimate confession on ‘Broken’ and soundtracks the rush of excitement and pitfalls that come with romantic relationships on previous singles ‘Perfect’ and ‘What Am I Here For’.