Rising Irish Singer-Songwriter Moncrieff Releases New EP ‘Highways & Hurricanes’ Alongside Powerful New Single, ‘Young Men’

Irish singer-songwriter Moncrieff, who won the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for Irish Song of the Year 2023 with his 2022 single, ‘Warm’, has today released his new EP, ‘Highways & Hurricanes’. The EP is out through BMG/energie and is available to stream and download here.

‘Highways & Hurricanes’ is a deeply honest and personal collection of songs, dealing with love, loss, struggle, vulnerability, and ultimately finding the strength within to get through it all. The release serves as an incredible testimony to the growth Moncreiff has experienced as a songwriter, and gives the listener an intimate look at the artist, as he lays himself bare to the demons he’s had to address.

Accompanying ‘Highways & Hurricanes’ is new single, ‘Young Men’. An exuberant summer pop track, it on the surface expresses the carefree feeling of a roadtrip. A deeper look into the lyrics however reveal the important message of looking after one’s mental health, and cover the painful experiences that often come with growing up in rural Ireland.

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.”

The theme continues elsewhere on the EP, such as ‘9 Lessons’, which is addressed to his late brother and sees Moncrieff present his own rules for life. He also offers an intimate confession on ‘Broken’ while in previous singles, Perfect’, and ‘What Am I Here For’, he provides a soundtrack for that rush of excitement and pitfalls that come with romantic relationships.

Chris Breheny (aka Moncrieff) turned to songwriting as a teenager as a means by which to cope with the deaths of his sister and older brother, and he’s taken on the mission of connecting with people through music since. After moving to London to pursue his music career, Moncrieff was quickly noticed by Sir Elton John who played his debut single on his radio show, and success continued when his single ‘Warm’ went top 10 on Irish Radio, where it remains on heavy rotation.

The subsequent 12 months saw him perform on the main stage at Electric Picnic, supporting The Script on their European tour, selling out Dublin’s 1,600 cap Olympia Theatre in just nine minutes, performing sold-out headline shows in London and Germany, and seeing in 2023 with a live TV performance at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on New Year’s Eve.

This summer will see Moncrieff bring his incredible stage presence to festival stages across the UK and Europe at All Points East, Lollapalooza, Neighbourhood and Barn On The Farm. With more music to come and exciting live shows yet to be announced, Moncrieff is undoubtedly one to watch for 2023.

You can find out more about Moncrieff and his music online on Instagram, Spotify, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

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