Now Hear This: A Falling Waltz by The Gallerist

Image courtesy of Michael Collins

When Boston-based singer, songwriter, and musician Michael Collins wanted to make an EP, he began a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to record a few folk-infused tracks as The Gallerist. The result? The newly released A Falling Waltz: a 24-minute, seven-song record that rolls up its pant legs, puts on a worn-in plaid shirt, and revels in heartfelt Americana. Collins, who sings vocals and plays guitar, banjo, and harmonica, wrote and recorded the songs over the course of one winter. “While I was writing, I spent a lot of time listening to acoustic-based stuff like the Bowerbirds, Patrick Watson, Cotton Jones, Wilco. I love artists who can write beautifully crafted tunes that are just a little off-kilter from the norm. There are songs, no matter what genre, that pull at the heartstrings and can’t be described as anything other than ‘badass.’ I think that that’s what I’m always going for,” he says.

A closer listen on tracks like the jangling “A Parent Apology” reveal the sound of clanking bottles. Collins, who describes his sound as “rootsy and creaky,” explains that the recording process for the record consisted of two weeks of late-night and early morning brainstorming and recording sessions with friends (two of whom play bass and drums). Though Collins recently relocated to Philly, he credits Boston with having a major effect on his music, thanks to an ever-enthusiastic and talented community of musicians. But no matter where he finds himself living, the urge to play always returns. “The tunes come from the bottom of my gut,” he says. “They have to come out. Playing live is like a good therapy session.”

I couldn’t agree more — for a dose of good medicine, listen to “Songbirds” and “A Parent Apology” here.