Single release: Will I Ever Get To Sleep? by Heidi Talbot Release date: 18 March 2013 Label: Navigator Listen: on Myspace
Will I Ever Get To Sleep?, the lead single from Irish folk singer Heidi Talbot’s latest album, Angels Without Wings, is a beautiful modern day folk song. Written with husband and producer John McCusker and performed with King Creosote, Will I Ever Get To Sleep? observes the normal day to day life that exists whilst a loved one is away and the inability to sleep without them by your side “But you’re not home for weeks, And I wonder if I’ll ever get to sleep”. Heidi’s enchanting vocals with King Creosote’s rich harmonies supported by the traditional instrumentation see the track soar and brings the lyrics to life.
‘Angels Without Wings’ is an album of original compositions glowing with special guests from the worlds of folk, pop, rock and bluegrass. Featuring collaborations with Mark Knopfler, King Creosote, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Karine Polwart, Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow), Julie Fowlis and more.
Subtlety is Talbot’s magic ingredient – from her gossamer voice to the delicate re-working of traditional and contemporary material that earned her rave reviews for her 2008 breakthrough In Love And Light. The girl from Ireland’s Co. Kildare, who spent several years in New York as a member of the Irish-American supergroup Cherish The Ladies, slips effortlessly between musical worlds but retains a personal modesty rooted in traditional folk.
Talbot began writing songs on her 2010 album The Last Star. In just two years she’s become a master of the art, sometimes composing alone, sometimes with McCusker and Boo Hewerdine (who form her touring band). Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) became a new creative foil after the pair discovered a mutual admiration:
“He was asked to pick his fantasy band for The Independent and he picked me and Morten Harket from A-ha on joint lead vocals,” Heidi laughs. She conceived the melody for Button Up – a brooding, urgent acoustic love song – with Anderson in mind, and he sent back his own lyrics.
When Mark Knopfler and Jerry Douglas offered to play on Heidi Talbot’s new album, they thoughtfully recorded their parts in several different styles – some were instantly recognisable, others more low-key. Talbot’s husband, producer and bandmate John McCusker joked, “you’ve got the best guitar players in the world and we’re blending them in?” But both musicians knew that for Talbot, the song always comes before the name.
And while the timeless language of traditional folk will always be an inspiration, there are traces of Americana in ‘When The Roses Come Again’ (feat. Mark Knopfler), a delicate country-tinged duet with bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien, and Parisian romance in the unforgettable title track by Boo Hewerdine, laced with vintage accordion.
Talbot and McCusker were keen to capture the spontaneity of performance: the album was recorded live in Glasgow’s new Gorbals Sound Studios with her regular team Ian Carr (guitars), Phil Cunningham (accordion), Michael McGoldrick (flutes/whistles), James Mackintosh (percussion), Boo Hewerdine (acoustic guitar) and Ewan Vernal (bass). “If people made mistakes we’d just keep going,” says Heidi. “On some of the tracks you can even hear the harmonium creaking. These guys are friends, they all give their opinion. They’ll say, “that’s it! That’s the take!’”
Talbot’s close-knit creative environment has fostered her confidence as a songwriter while allowing her to welcome in surprising new collaborators. These ever-evolving musical relationships can be heard on this, her most sophisticated and vibrant recording to date.
Upcoming UK Tour Dates
- Sat, 26 Jan 2013 Tolbooth, Stirling 01786 274000
- Sun, 27 Jan 2013 Angels Without Wings Album launch @ Celtic Connections festival
- Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow with special guests 0141 3538000
- Fri, 15 Feb 2013 The Buccleuch Centre, Langholm 01387 381196
- Sat, 16 Feb 2013 The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth 01900 826448
- Sun, 17 Feb 2013 Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton 0845 127 2190
- Tue, 19 Feb 2013 Exeter Phoenix, Exeter 01392 667080
- Wed, 20 Feb 2013 Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd. 08000 147111
- Thu, 21 Feb 2013 Cecil Sharp House, London 0844 8889991
- Fri, 22 Feb 2013 Royal Native Oyster Stores, Whitstable 07895 683567
- Sat, 23 Feb 2013 Forge at Anvil, Basingstoke 01256 844244
- Sun, 24 Feb 2013 Subscription Rooms, Stroud 01453 760900
- Mon, 25 Feb 2013 Artrix, Bromsgrove 01527 577330
- Wed, 27 Feb 2013 Sheffield Cathedral, Sheffield 0114 263 6951
- Thu, 28 Feb 2013 The Barn, Baston 01778 560497
- Fri, 01 Mar 2013 The Met, Bury 01617 612216
- Sat, 02 Mar 2013 Hepworth Village Hall, Hepworth 07845 921527
- Sun, 03 Mar 2013 Darwin Suite, Derby 01332 255800
- Mon, 04 Mar 2013 Rodewald Suite, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 0151 7093789
- Tue, 05 Mar 2013 Pocklington Arts Centre, Pocklington 01759 301547
- Thu, 07 Mar 2013 Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline 01383 602302
- Fri, 08 Mar 2013 Eden Court, Inverness 01463 234234
- Sat, 09 Mar 2013 Eastgate Arts Centre, Peebles 01721 725777
- Sun, 10 Mar 2013 The Woodend Barn, Banchory 01330 825431