Early in the pandemic, at a time of great uncertainty, Dan Weltman found himself relocating to the remote Devon countryside just as a long-term relationship was unravelling. He used song-writing to process his feelings of loss and isolation and the result is the excellent collection of personal, heartfelt songs to be found on his forthcoming album ‘Rivers in My Mind’, due out in June 2022. Weltman explains: “I needed strong and simple songs, I knew that. Songs like thick logs I could then lash together to form an escape vessel, heading to who knew where. I’d turned to music for catharsis before but this was a whole other level. I’d sunk to a depth I really wasn’t sure how to return from. But the slow rising up, when it came, was profound and humbling. I’d never before been this comically lonely, heartbroken and needing of solace. My only choice was to surrender, drop all my bullshit and start again from zero. Sadness alone is never enough for a song unfortunately. But with persistence it can be shaped and polished into a more interesting melancholy. That’s what I aimed for here. I’m always trying to write songs that can outgrow me and be useful to others, as well as entertain of course.”
The first single from the album is the rhythmic, waltzing ‘Nobody’s Fault’, which features an outstanding vocal performance from Weltman; his voice is warm and beautifully melodic as he sways and swings his way through the song, rising and falling, faltering and full of character. Instrumental layers add texture over fluttering guitar. Weltman says of the single: “It’s me making fun of myself, pushing the self-pity as far as I could. I like how the rhythm sways a little drunkenly, and obviously there are a few nods to Leonard Cohen in the mandolins, accordion and twanging jaw harps – an extension of the indulgence in the lyrics and just having fun in the studio grabbing instruments.”
Well-crafted and immediately engaging, ‘Nobody’s Fault’ feels familiar and yet new. The songwriter from Bristol-based band Snails aims for a tuneful kind of sorrow with his solo material and the result is very effective. Check it out.
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