Conlon’s eclectic compositions are well admired on the Emerald Isle; his lyrics celebrate, and appeal to, the human spirit; his voice likened by some critics as an “Irish version of Roy Orbison,” and his songwriting skills are admired by fellow musicians, music lovers and critics.
His international reach continues to expand in recent years. He performed his first U.S. show at Largo at the Coronet as part of an In The Round event hosted by Inara George with Elani Mandell, Mike Viola and Mike Andrews. Having just returned from a string of shows in Texas, he is also scheduled to perform in New York City next month.
Conlon’s new single, the uptempo, breezy track, “Lonely Avenues,” with its country-western tinge and open road allure, features his register-shifting – with hints of crooning – vocals; soaring slide guitar; fierce acoustic guitar playing, shakers, and light drums. It may remind some indie fans of Conor Oberst or M. Ward.
The album was co-produced and mixed by acclaimed engineer Colin Elliot (Richard Hawley). Conlon and his band recently performed the entire to a full house at the Viper Room in Hollywood.
Songs Of Love So Cruel is an impressive collection of mature, painful and wonderfully crafted songs, with a depth and warmth that is a gift rather than contrived, and along with his amazing voice, Conlon’s album will naturally appeal to an international audience, older and younger, across genres because his music is ultimately universal.
Ultan’s back catalogue – two EPs and two full studio albums to date – has received extensive international radio airplay. Plus, in 2014, five of Ultan’s songs, along with a score he co-composed with guitarist Eoin McCann, were included on the soundtrack for the award-winning movie, Songs For Amy, which was screened at the Boston Film Festival as well as The Newport Film Festival, where it took home the Just Award.
His music has been featured on Irish national radio, including RTE, Today FM and Newstalk as well as receiving extensive airplay in the UK on BBC Radio 2. Conlon has shared the stage with artist such as John Grant, Eddi Reader, Patty Griffin and Richard Hawley, and performed duets with Glen Hansard and John Martyn.