Single Review – ‘Wallowing In Self-pity’ by Jack Monaghan

After releasing two singles, Jack Monaghan has taken to the microphone again to record his first EP, ‘Wallowing In Self-Pity’. Released in 2021, this EP is comprised of four tracks – one of them a previously released single, and another which is a cover.

The previously released single, ‘Open Up’ has had a vocal and instrumental glow-up. This song takes aim at the prevalent culture of toxic masculinity, where men psychologically torture one another and the rest of society by disavowing the importance of mental health.

A certain model of masculinity is forced on the rest of society and its defining attributes are domination, homophobia, and a lack of emotional intelligence which usually results in aggression and violence. Monaghan, like any level-headed metrosexual living in the 21st Century, feels as though this atmosphere we collectively allow to exist is a farce.

We’re facing a mental health crisis, and so many people seem determined to ignore it. Men commit suicide more often than women – at a rate three times higher – and this is particularly common among men aged 40-49. I’ve recently lost my uncle. He’d been in absolute agony under such psychological pressure, it ended in him taking his own life. He was suffering with a deep depression and PTSD.

My uncle couldn’t find a way to communicate, and I can’t help but wonder how the social expectations enforced on men contributed to his poor mental health. The message is clear: if you’re struggling emotionally the best thing to do is talk through your troubles. Whether it’s with friends, family, or a counsellor, dealing with emotions rather than suppressing them is essential to a long healthy life. Quite often things can be solved over a cup of tea and a rational conversation with a fresh perspective. Overthinking kills.

Jack Monaghan’s lyrics eloquently explore dark and dangerous thoughts. 2am thoughts. Whiskey thoughts. A proud fellow Irishman – a thoroughbred, not a plastic like me – Jack’s voice is in fact reminiscent of the Gallaghers. You can especially hear this in two songs on this EP, ‘Complicated’ and ‘In My Head’.

‘Wallowing In Self-Pity’ lives up to its title. Jack also includes quite a haunting acoustic cover of Orson’s ‘Bright Idea’, which flows well with the rest of the album and continues the social commentary on the problems men face today. Men are also more likely to go missing than women. There are higher numbers of men sleeping rough than women. Drug and alcohol abuse is also more common among men. Our society, albeit patriarchal, is not only dramatically failing women, but also men. And on such a large scale.

We can all do more to help each other and make the world a better place. Jack’s contribution has been to spread the message, fixing society a song at a time. I wonder what he’s got in store next!

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