THERE'S A Waltz, the new album, by Loughrea singer-songwriter Ultan Conlon, produced by the Grammy Award winning Sean Watkins, formerly of Nickel Creek, is released tomorrow [April 17].
Ultan's fourth album, it was recorded in Los Angeles, and saw the Galwayman joined by drummer Don Heffington (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Ron Sexsmith ), bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Iron and Wine, Neil Diamond, kd lang ), fiddle player Gabe Witcher (Paul Simon, Beck ), as well as Sara Watkins on backing vocals (Nickel Creek, I'm With Her ), among others.
There's A Waltz finds Ultan reflecting on his struggle with alcohol addiction ('A Long Way Back’ ), longing for connection ('A Landslide' ), or journeying towards self-acceptance and love (the title track ). 'World from A Window' was initially inspired by Ultan's pet cat. "'Kitty’ was staring out the window all day and I was feeling so sorry for her limited life, looking out at birds and cars," he says.
"Then I noticed myself, stuck on Twitter and Instagram, scrolling at mind-numbing crap. The song expanded from that moment into a realisation that so many of us are not immune to spending so much of our lives on the windows of one’s computers or cell phones.”
Another stand-out is 'In The Blink of an Eye' which stems back to the death of Ultan’s father when Ultan was only 13, and how this experience profoundly changed Ultan’s life forever: "There’s something I just can’t get over, it might take a lifetime/or it might be all gone in the blink of an eye."
The recent single, 'Sparks Of The Divine', brings a more joyous 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."