A number of Irish artists including David Kitt have collaborated with David Gray on his forthcoming new album, Skellig.

Gray, the man behind White Ladder, the biggest-selling album in Irish history, has named the new record after the famous island off the coast of Kerry and an impressionistic painting of the site features on the new record's cover.

Mossy Nolan of The Silken Same, bassist Robbie Malone, cellist Caroline Dale and Sligo singer Niamh Farrell also feature on the new album.

The Manchester-born singer has also posted a free Soundcoud link to the title track.

"Hello there, I'm getting into the Christmas spirit by providing a free link to a brand new song Skellig below," he said.

"You can either stream or download the audio as you wish. Skellig is the title track from my forthcoming album. More detail on that to follow, as well as on the track itself and the gorgeous artwork that accompanies it. Time to travel out across the misty waters.....Hope you enjoy. - David."

It will be Gray's 12th album since his 1993 debut A Century Ends and his first new material since Gold in a Brass Age.

Earlier this year the singer also re-released a 20th anniversary edition of White Ladder but had to postpone plans for a world tour due to the pandemic.

Speaking about collaborating with Gray, Kitt said, "So proud to be a part of this incredible album with such a bunch of legends. the giddiest of times we had recording at Edwyn Collins and Grace Maxwell's studio in the Scottish highlands. definitely my favourite thing Dave has done and really excited for its full release in Feb."

This isn't the first time the stark outcrop of Sceilig Mhichíl has inspired artists. It famously served as Luke Skywalker's retreat in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, while Northern Irish band - and Star Wars obsessives - Ash also featured the Kerry landmark on the cover of their most recent album Islands.

Alan Corr @CorrAlan2