In his stunning new single released earlier this month, Niall McNamee delves into the story of a man at the end of his life, reflecting in his last moments as his memories and life flashes before his eyes. Heart-wrenching and unlike anything else in the charts right now, ‘All I Need’ is a devastatingly beautiful track to close out what has for many, been a difficult year.
Niall in the past has commented on how he has felt inspired by and compelled towards writing stories about war. Citing other tracks like ‘Willie McBride’, McNamee speaks about how he has wanted to create something deeply emotional in order to delve into the experiences of leaving loved ones behind and having your life as a young working man changed forever. The release of ‘All I Need’ is a culmination of all of these desires and is by far McNamee’s most emotional and vulnerable song yet.
From the offset, Nialls vocals are captivating and soft. His Irish roots shine through and his tone has an incredibly genuine and authentic quality to it. Throughout, the lyrics while simple tug at your heartstrings and really illustrate the humanity of war. The emotive chorus in particular personifies the experience of seeing such horror and wishing only to go home to loved ones; they truly capture the essence of the song and the desire to explore the war from the experience of the ordinary, working class man.
‘But I don’t want to let you go
I’m in places I don’t know
Before I know for sure
I wanna see those eyes up close once more
And when I’m back I’ll go
From Peterborough to Grantham Town,
Newark Place, Doncaster, York, Durham, Tyne and Tweed
As soon as I get off this land
I’m on that track to find you hand
Cus you are all I need
You’re all I need’
The verses speak to the unfairness of war and several lines explore just how senseless and unjust the whole ordeal is from the perspective of the ordinary man. The line ‘I’ll be fighting against boys in grey’ particularly stands out as it emphasizes just how young and innocent those being sent to the front lines were. What the song seeks out to capture is the true and sad reality of war; it is an environment where the wealthy profit and those at the bottom are made to give their lives. The video for the song is equally raw and heartfelt; shot entirely from a landscape perspective in black and white the music video has an almost cinematic quality. It is incredibly simplistic, shot in a forest with shots of a young man in different uniforms. The lack of specificity about location and uniform gives the character a universal quality; he is a soldier from both everywhere and nowhere. Exploring all areas of emotion, as the screen fades to black at the end of the video, you can’t help but feel heartbroken and torn apart.
2021 has been an exciting and full on year for the Irish singer-songwriter; earlier singles ‘Step by Step’, ‘When She Goes’ and ‘China in a Box’ have all amassed thousands of views and plays so it is understandable that ‘All I Need’ has already gained so many streams and plays since its release on December 10th. A multi-talented artist, McNamee has many strings to his bow and has also done a lot of film work this year, most notably starring in Love Without Walls where he acted alongside his own compositions. After such a huge year, it is anyone's guess as to what is next for Niall.
Niall's beautiful tack is below for you to listen to.