“Your Needs, My Needs” by Noah Kahan

The lyrics of “Your Needs, My Needs” are ridiculously poetic, to the point that there doesn’t appear to be a single statement expressed directly. But the effort is appreciated, in that there’s only so many subjects industry songs tend to be about anyway.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Noah Kahan's Your Needs, My Needs at Lyrics.org.

In other words, ultimately it can be concluded that “Your Needs, My Needs” is a fancily-worded breakup piece. And the reason that goal has proven achievable, i.e. this being more complex than your usual heartbreak fare, is because there are enough intricacies embedded in the lyrics. 

Or let’s say that the narrative reads like something Noah may have been through in real life. For instance, he mentions Zoloft as somehow playing a role in this whole equation. And there is another song titled “No Complaints“, which is part of the same We’ll All Be Here Forever project which harps on the singer’s dependency on such medications.

“You were a work of art
That’s the hardest part
Howlin’ like dogs in the light of the moon
Holdin’ our breath after 1:32
You asked me why I wasn’t sayin’ a word
I’m naming the stars in the sky after you
I was a work of art
That’s the hardest part”

In these types of scenarios, trying to decipher the song word-for-word isn’t the best strategy, since there would be too much postulation involved. But what appears to be going down, long story short, is Noah, even post-breakup, not only being able to perceive the high value of his partner but also of himself. 

That is to say that he doesn’t sound bitter at all. And that may even be the concept upon which the titular statement is based. Or in context, Kahan recognizing his needs as well as those of the addressee can be taken as his way of saying that he understands their respective paths came to a point where it led in different directions. 

But that said, the bridge especially also contains some negative observations, presumably in terms of the vocalist analyzing himself. However, it is not clear if those characteristics, such as being “bitter-brained” and “almost drunk”, caused the demise of his relationship with the addressee or are the aftereffects of it.

Various Facts behind “Your Needs, My Needs”

Noah Kahan wrote and produced this track with a regular collaborator of his, Gabe Simon, who’s co-frontman of a band called Kopecky. And the other producer of “Your Needs, My Needs” is Konrad Snyder.

This track is a part of “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)”, i.e. the deluxe edition of Noah Kahan’s third-studio album.

This song is a product of Republic Records, whom Kahan has been with since 2016 and who are responsible for his two previous studio albums, “Busyhead” (2019) and “I Was / I Am” (2021).

“Your Needs, My Needs” was released on 9 June 2023 and has thus far, as of a couple of days afterwards, charted on Spotify’s US and Canadian charts.

Your Needs, My Needs

Your Comments


“‘Your Needs, My Needs’ delves into introspection and emotions surrounding a relationship that has undergone changes and struggles, a situation I can relate to. The song reflects on witnessing the other person’s hardships and the lingering pain they feel. The metaphor of a flower on their skin symbolizes the lasting impact the person has had on them. The lyrics convey a sense of familiarity and shared experiences, even in the midst of difficulties. 

The song goes ahead to explore the complexities of the relationship, likening both individuals to works of art. It acknowledges the beauty and depth in each other’s existence but also highlights the challenges and silence that can come between them. The reference to howling like dogs in the light of the moon suggests a longing or yearning for connection, while holding their breath after 1:32 in the line ‘holdin’ our breath after 1:32‘, hints at moments of anticipation and uncertainty.

The references to medication (Zoloft) and emotional states (bitter-brained, always drunk) hint at a battle with mental health issues. ‘Your life, your dreams, your mind, your needs, my needs, and your needs’ highlight the complexities and conflicts within the relationship. Overall, the song is contemplative and emotional, exploring themes of connection, struggle, and self-reflection within a complex relationship dynamic.”


“Kahan’s ability to wrap raw emotions in poetry is truly a breath of fresh air. ‘Your Needs, My Needs’ is a heartbreaking but beautifully written piece. I appreciate the nuanced storytelling. It’s not a simple tale of love and loss, but one layered with self-reflection and maturity.”


“The intricacies of the lyrics of ‘Your Needs, My Needs’ and references to personal experiences make this song so relatable. The authenticity shines through. It’s rare to find songs like this, where every line is a deep dive into the human heart and mind. It’s profound.”


“Love how Kahan doesn’t simplify emotions, instead using eloquent, complex language to convey the depths of a broken relationship. He’s actually not just singing about a breakup, he’s painting a portrait of self-discovery and acceptance. The depth is crazy!”


“Kahan’s non-bitter approach to the end of a relationship is both refreshing and poignant. It’s like therapy set to music! At the end of the day, these aren’t just lyrics; they’re an exploration of the complexities of love and personal growth. Kahan has really outdone himself here.”

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    In an interview, Noah said that Your Needs, My Needs is the lyrical opposite of You’re Going To Go Far. I believe the idea of it being that both songs are about a breakup, and each version belies a way in which someone can handle a breakup.

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