“What could have been” is a very powerful sentiment. Every now and again we all stop to think about the different things that have happened through the course of our lives and the missed opportunities along the way, and the element that often causes the most introspection and consternation is that of previous romantic relationships . The majority of us will have more than one romantic partner in our lives, but there will always be one that we will return to and wonder if maybe they were the one who could have made you happy in the long term.

Cork singer/songwriter Dan Elliott is no stranger to being featured on this blog, with his ability to write emotional and relatable songs the reason why he is considered one of the most promising up and coming songwriters in Irish music at the moment. His recent debut single, released a few weeks ago, is further testament to his ability to address complicated matters in a way that makes the listener feel like he is telling their own story. Only Ever Been You talks us through the sensation of what might have been and it is done in an incredibly powerful way, and a way that will be extremely relatable to the majority of listeners.

Across the track, Elliott puts forth the argument that despite all the people that we meet in our lives there is always one that will mean the most to us, and losing out on an opportunity to give it a proper go with them will always be a regret. He sets the scene by giving us an insight into the relationship that he previously had and the things that the girl he is singing about used to do when they were together, and introduces his sadness that they are not happening anymore. This is a clever narrative ploy as the listener is made aware of the nuances of the previous relationship and why it is staying with Elliott all this time later. The listener ends up willing our protagonist and his romantic partner to give it another go such is the picture that Elliott has painted in these opening few lines.

Do you want to come and meet me in between?”

The immediate aftermath of every breakup always comes with that period where you begin to question every action or decision you made during it, as if you are the sole reason why the whole thing came to an end. Elliott addresses this sensation through the bridge of the song and lists all the things that he feels if he changed would lead to a different outcome.

“I won’t stay out drinking, I’ll always come home,

I won’t ignore you if you hit up my phone…”

For me, this was a song in which I was able to relate to every line being sung by Elliott. Sometimes it is hard to properly understand why a relationship ended and you feel that with some subtle tweaking it could be something properly great. It is often the case that it is only after you lose that person that you realise that they were the one all along, and this realisation is always incredibly painful.

“You and I will make it through all the things that we said we’d do…”

Only Ever Been You has been a long time coming for the fans and friends of Dan Elliott (AKA Daniel O’Sullivan), but it’s a very triumphant first official release by the songwriter and is only the beginning of things to come in the next few months. Worth keeping an eye on it all.

Elliott plays a headline show Upstairs in Whelan’s on 13 March, and if it’s anything like the last time he played there it’s sure to be a great night. Tickets for the event can be found at the following link.

It’s Only Ever Been You…