Irish-born singer-songwriter Moncrieff has released a powerful video for his new single ‘Young Men’, which received its first national airplay on BBC Radio 1’s Future Artists with Jack Saunders this week. The track is taken from his new EP ‘Highways & Hurricanes’, out now via BMG / energie.
Directed by the award-winning Elle Brooks-Tao, produced by Roisin Moloney and starring Normal People’s Eanna Hardwicke, the hard–hitting and emotional video narrates an important message around men’s mental health. Watch it here.
“Growing up in small-town Ireland, men’s mental health was never something that was talked about. As a man, If you’re hurting emotionally, you’re expected to man up and deal with it or failing that, as is so common in my area, all problems were pushed down and drowned with pints, joyriding, drugs, fighting and other destructive behaviour. As a result, young men have become experts at camouflaging their problems, often until it’s tragically too late.
I wanted to tell the real story. That behind the reckless behaviour and laddish exterior of a young man, lies a vulnerable, emotional human being who feels trapped in the psycho-emotional cage that the culture in Ireland and many other parts of the world have built for young men.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with Elle Brooks-Tao, who not only breathed life into the idea but brought a truly unique element of tenderness and human vulnerability to the video.”
Director Elle Brooks-Tao says:
“I’ve always believed in film as a medium to help people feel not so alone in their thoughts or stuck in their emotions. Seeing a life, a character, an action or situation on screen can inspire us to see a different way to do things, or a new way to feel. I truly hope that every young man who watches this will consider their feelings and choices in a new light, and feel hope for their future when all hope seems lost.
Working with Chris was an invaluable way to get inside the head of a young man, his own and write authentic experiences based on memories shared from his life that he wanted to tie into the film. I’m grateful to have been trusted to help these characters come to life on screen, and I’m grateful for our producer Roisin, and the entire cast and crew who threw themselves into this sensitive subject, and donated their time and resources.”
On the surface, ‘Young Men’ is a slice of exuberant summer pop that encapsulates the carefree feeling of a road trip, creating a stark contrast to the lyrics.
“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.
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.”
Following the massive success of last year’s ‘Warm’ EP – winning the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for Irish Song of the Year 2023 for the smash-hit title-track – Moncrieff’s latest body of work ‘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, the new EP offers an intimate sonic portrait of an exceptional musician who isn’t afraid to address his demons in the studio. Stream and download ‘Highways & Hurricanes’ here.
On the EP, Moncrieff soundtracks the rush of excitement and pitfalls that come with romantic relationships on previous singles ‘Perfect’ and ‘What Am I Here For’, narrates an important message around young men’s mental health on ‘Young Men’, addresses his late brother and presents his own rules for life on ‘9 Lessons’ and offers an intimate confession on ‘Broken’.