Ultan Conlon “delivers his finest record yet” (Heaven Magazine)
‘There’s A Waltz’ Produced by Grammy Award Winner Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek)
"RTE Radio 1's Album of the week!...gorgeous, gorgeous album" Fiachna Ó Braonáin/Rte Radio One
"A record that revels in the beauty of the simple and unspectacular." Sunday Irish Times
“One of the year’s standout records” International Americana Music Show
"Absolutely exquisite set of songs" Lee Zimmerman/Goldmine Magazine
Galway, Ireland – Irish singer-songwriter ULTAN CONLON found a haven for his unique sound and sensibility in Los Angeles, CA with Nickel Creek’s Grammy Award-winning SEAN WATKINS producing Ultan’s recently released record, There’s a Waltz.
Ultan was introduced to Sean in LA in 2016 while playing some shows there including one at Largo, the well-known nightclub where Sean and Sara Watkins hosted The Watkins Family Hour. Ultan says: “When I met the musicians that Sean brought on board to record my songs and we played the first few bars, I knew this record was gonna make itself, under the influence of Sean navigating us all ever so gently.”
That formidable group of musicians includes producer Sean Watkins on numerous instruments; Don Heffington — Drums (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Ron Sexsmith); Sebastian Steinberg — Bass, Double Bass (Iron and Wine, Neil Diamond, KD Lang); Gabe Witcher — Fiddle (Paul Simon, Beck); Rich Hinman — Pedal Steel (KD Lang, St.Vincent); Sara Watkins — Backing Vocals (Nickle Creek, I'm With Her); and Tyler Chester — B3, Piano (Jackson Browne, Andrew Bird).
Conlon’s poetically-enigmatic songs and “lyrical gems” (No Depression) often stem from his own personal experiences, whether he is reflecting on the dark days of his battle with alcohol addiction (“A Long Way Back”), the isolation incurred by the digital universe (“World from A Window”), anxiety concerning the fate of the world (“A Landslide”) or journeying towards self-acceptance and love (“There’s A Waltz”).
As for the aforementioned “World,” Ultan explains the evolution for this song began when his kitten, ‘Kitty’ was “staring out the window all day and there I was feeling so sorry for her limited life, looking out at birds and cars, and then I noticed myself, stuck on Twitter and Instagram, scrolling at mind- numbing crap. The song expanded from that moment into a realization that so many of us are not immune to spending much of our lives on the windows of one’s computers or cell phones.”
If there’s a melancholy within the observations of “Window”, “Sparks of the Divine” brings a more exuberant optimism into the equation with an ode to love:
Turn to me quietly and whisper that you are mine Break it to me gently like you’re telling me for the first time Not looking for much, but you give me Something Divine
Conlon’s voice has been likened by many music writers to Roy Orbison and his writer’s voice brings forth original songs that combine depths of feeling, introspection and modesty, as witnessed in “Moments in Time”… …out of the dark I arrive Though I’m not the traveling kind With mind on fire it’s hardly trailblazing
But along the trail of the same song, his thoughts are illuminated by the…
…Windows to stars that shine in the dark from above Where our love defies Moments in Time Where our love resides Moments in TIme
The title track, “There’s a Waltz” surprisingly starts out in 4/4 time, saving the shift into waltz-time only towards the end. As with all of Ultan’s songs on this new collection, the rewards, be they deferred or right at hand, bittersweet or joyous, are always reaching to connect to the listener’s heart and soul.
Irish singer-songwriter and guitarist, Ultan Conlon has shared the stage with the likes of John Fogerty, Mavis Staples, Shelby Lynne, Jackson Browne, Bryan Ferry, John Grant, Eddi Reader, Patty Griffin and Richard Hawley, among others. Ultan has also performed duets with Glen Hansard and John Martyn, and Martyn recorded Ultan’s song “Really Gone” in 2005. Many of Ultan’s critically acclaimed songs have received extensive airplay in Ireland (RTE Radio 1, Lyric FM, KCLR) and the UK (BBC). ‘There’s A Waltz’ produced by Grammy Award- winner Sean Watkins, is Ultan’s fourth record.
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