“I’m in it for the long haul, baby”: Niamh Regan Embraces a Spirit of Truth in ‘Come As You Are,’ a Breathtaking Record of Raw Self-Acceptance

Niamh Regan 'Come As You Are' © Molly Keane
Niamh Regan 'Come As You Are' © Molly Keane
A beautiful, breathtakingly candid indie folk record of self-acceptance, Niamh Regan’s ‘Come As You Are’ is an intimate, emotionally charged invitation to embrace ourselves for who we are and lean into our light – even when it’s dark outside.
Stream: “Waves” – Niamh Regan




Come as you are, I’m gonna love you if I have to. Come as you are, I’m gonna leave you if I have to…

Honesty is the name of the game in Niamh Regan’s sophomore album.

But it’s not just honesty; what the Irish singer/songwriter has really uncovered in her second full-length record is a spirit of truth – a state of unapologetic, unfiltered, and unconditional self-expression. “No one needs an honest word until it comes around, tells me what I need,” she sings in “Waves,” a soul-stirring song of soul-searching and inward connection. It’s a powerful declaration, to be sure, and just one of the many memorable moments of raw reflection and reckoning scattered across Regan’s songwriting. A beautiful, breathtakingly candid indie folk record of self-acceptance, Come As You Are is an intimate, emotionally charged invitation to embrace ourselves for who we are and lean into our light – even when it’s dark outside.

Come As You Are - Niamh Regan
Come As You Are – Niamh Regan
Here’s a little line of love
You can take it all for free
Tell me what you think
But go easy on me
I’m not mad it’s not my turn
It was never meant to be
You got caught up in a flash flood
I don’t mind you needing me
Here’s a little line of love
While you’re finding your feet
You can put it in a song
Oh the one you’ll never write for me
– “Waves,” Niamh Regan

Out May 31, 2024 via Faction Records, Come As You Are finds strength through vulnerability and energy through cathartic release. The follow-up to Niamh Regan’s acclaimed 2020 debut album Hemet finds her a little older and a little wiser, expanding her sonic palette with the help of producer Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, SOAK, Pillow Queens, Ailbhe Reddy) while staying true to herself as a dynamic and diaristic storyteller – one who uses her own self-exposure as a means of highlighting and conveying life’s greater universal truths.

It’s a process that inevitably brings audiences deep into her world, and nowhere does she dig deeper and excavate more feelings than on Come As You Are, a record born out of intense introspective explorations. Regan describes it as empathetic, assertive, and ambitious.

Niamh Regan 'Come As You Are' © Molly Keane
Niamh Regan ‘Come As You Are’ © Molly Keane

“I had a clear vision of this record having a bigger full band sound, and this was the reason I was keen to work with producer Tommy McLaughlin,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “I also wanted this album to be fun, uplifting and well a bit more positive than my first record. But that’s not what exactly happened.”

“I spent two years writing really empty, try-hard pop tunes and then about a year writing what I was actually feeling and what’s actually on the album. The record thematically is a little weird, a bit dark in spots and maybe not very glamorous, but I had a lot of fun with it too and didn’t shy away from cringe or cheesy lyrics in spots which a younger me would have. Production-wise, I feel we went exactly where the songs wanted to go and followed our gut instincts in the studio.”

“A lot of it is about being in your late twenties and kind of realising we’re all running out of time. I’d have bouts of massive self-belief in the studio, and then in the next breath I would be like, ‘This is the worst piece of music I could have even imagined.’ It was a rollercoaster. But through that I found self-acceptance; this is where I’m at and making peace with that. That’s what the album essentially is, just making peace with where I’m at and being realistic with myself.”




Niamh Regan 'Come As You Are' © Molly Keane
Niamh Regan ‘Come As You Are’ © Molly Keane

The album’s name ‘Come As You Are’ perfectly captures that spirit of honesty and truth resonating throughout Regan’s songs, as well as in her bones. It comes from the chorus of her song “Waves,” where she sings, “Come as you are, I’m going to love you if I have to.” “This is a line that resonated with me and the whole album making process,” she explains. “I also just really like when people say ‘ah sure, just come as you are’… There’s something warm and inviting about it.”

Highlights abound on the journey from the album’s visceral opener “Madonna” – an achingly raw, one-take live recording – to its stunningly strong, conclusively inconclusive finale, “Record,” whose enthralling, climactic musical crescendo leaves us in a state of wonder and excitement for all that the future holds and whatever comes next – both for Regan, and for us.

From the intimate intensity of “Long Haul” and its striking declaration of devotion (“I’m in it for the long-haul baby, I’m in this just to see how far we can go”) to the propulsive beat and tongue-in-cheek candor of “Nice” (“Can you help me get out of my own way? I’m too nice, walk all over, I’d do anything twice before it upsets me…”), Regan holds nothing back in delivering raw images of her soul’s unrest.

The album’s final single “Music” is an undeniable standout – a gentle spark of warmth, inner aching, and human connection whose chorus, “Music doesn’t do it for you anymore,” is as catchy as it is gut-wrenching. Regan soulfully sings into the wind – not necessarily at anyone in particular – about how we sometimes lose our way in this world. Through her confessional lyrics and emotive inflections, she ruminates on how life is a long, long journey, and one filled with plenty of missteps, existential crises, moments of uncertainty and points of self-doubt.

Looking for a good time
Drink that mediocre wine,
light that stale cigarette
You’re just clearing up sinus’
clearing up your skin
I’m gonna take back five whole years
I’m gonna get back five whole years
With this green juice
Are you watching me lose you? Well
Music doesn’t do it for you anymore
Music doesn’t do it for you anymore
Music doesn’t do it for you

“I love playing ‘Music’ and ‘Madonna,’ but I think my overall favourite track is ‘Waves,’” Regan smiles. “The track really sums up the record for me and is something I’m really proud of.”

Niamh Regan 'Come As You Are' © Molly Keane
Niamh Regan ‘Come As You Are’ © Molly Keane

Ultimately, Regan’s album’s-length self-exposure acts as a form of radiant, rejuvenating musical therapy; yet it’s as much a vessel through which listeners can embark on their own soul-searching journey (if they wish to do so), as it is own of soothing, soul-stirring musical enrichment. Not only did she stay true to herself as an artist, but Regan also fulfilled her goal of making a fun, uplifting experience. After all, who says songs about self-acceptance and unfiltered, unapologetically honest truths can’t be a good time?!

Listen to the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Niamh Regan’s Come As You Are with Atwood Magazine as she goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore album!

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:: stream/purchase Come As You Are here ::
:: connect with Niamh Regan here ::
Stream: ‘Come As You Are’ – Niamh Regan



:: Inside Come As You Are ::

Come As You Are - Niamh Regan

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Madonna

This song feels most intrinsically tied to my debut Hemet musically. It’s a raw, one-take live recording of my voice and acoustic guitar with additional drones and keys added in later to help build tension. I think lyrically though the song sparked a new direction for me and felt like a perfect fit to open the second record.

Belly

The melody is split in two for me country twang outbreak and indie pop intro. I was listening to a lot of Dry Cleaning ‘Gary Ashby’ and I just love the delivery of the vocals and that inspired the chorus ‘here we go’, and then I was listening to a lot of Charley Crockett and wanted to have a bit of a fun swing to the middle 8. The song theme touches on elements of a fight and reminding yourself of your self-worth if I was to boil it down.

Music

Heavily inspired by Wilco, Shmilco and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot albums. The song is just a little love story of a jaded musician that I conjured up who is looking for a better version of themselves and ultimately feeling lost. I’m also poking fun at myself in this song but I say it’s a 50/50 fiction and truth. My favourite moment is the crescendo after the sparse guitar solo played by Tommy.

Long Haul

Is a bad attempt at a love song. The production and vibe was inspired by Khruangbin and Julia Jacklin. My favourite part is the bass line, there’s more groove and space in this song than in my prior work.

Too Nice

I feel it’s a bit of tongue in cheek. A funny song. Sometimes I felt a little resentment about being categorized as nice / too nice, and this song is a little bit of poking fun at myself again.

Take It Easy

Something my dad would always say whenever he’d see or hear me getting into the car. I like building songs around phrases and this feels quite local/colloquial of rural Ireland

Blame

Production was inspired by Tommy Petty vibe guitars and there’s a lot of space in the instrumental that feels like brain fog, muddy music and I love it. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to let something go without a new counter melody or obvious section before.

Waves

The title of the album comes from this song and I guess it kinda sums up the years of work that went into making this record. The song is long, dramatic, compassionate, fun and most importantly full of relief and love. I hope you can hear this in both the production and writing. I am really proud of this song and its structure. I’m also very thankful for Micheal Keeney’s magic string arrangement and Thomas McLaughlin for sitting in the studio with me late into the night and early in the morning making this song into what it is.

Paint a Picture

Production was totally inspired by Elliott Smith’s “Waltz #2 (XO).” Lyrically this song is a development on the previous song, “Blame.” Trying to figure out how to be an adult like the ones we are sold to be – house, kids, big job, happiness, but feeling there’s genuinely something wrong with me that I can’t really do it.. it’s a little bit like a freak out.

Mortgage

Production is really stripped back, it’s lonely. The song is really lonely and just looking for reassurance and I think the drone captures this. I wrote this one with my partner, Wesley. It’s a sum up of the past few years. Selfishness of pursuing a career that’s all about me, being gone a lot and not really figuring out a balance for my personal life and being a woman in music again feeling like I’m running out of time to crack this music malarkey if I want a family that’s the honest truth. Just a sense of feeling scared and I guess that’s all wrapped up in the housing crisis and the pressure it’s putting on a lot of people and relationships.

Record

And I guess it’s a weird note to end on for the album, sooo I decided to include a bonus track that is kinda in the same vein, but it sees the lighter side of things and showing appreciation for my partner who in fact is sticking it out despite it not being a very clear/lucrative path all the time and the commitment to the commitment. Essentially, I really wanted this record to be fun, full band, positive potentially even something you’d listen to while going for that ‘new me’ run/jog/walk whatever.
But despite my growth in music (starting point being at 0) I was not in a good place in my personal life. And my learning and navigating this took me by surprise and, well, I feel no matter what I did this seeps into the record and all I can do now is hope there’s an audience out there who feel or felt as weird as I did making this and gets some good or comfort from the music.

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:: stream/purchase Come As You Are here ::
:: connect with Niamh Regan here ::

— — — —

Come As You Are - Niamh Regan

Connect to Niamh Regan on
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? © Molly Keane

:: Stream Niamh Regan ::



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