Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová recently won an Oscar for their original song “Falling Softly”. In his Oscar acceptance Hansard exhorted others to “Make Art”. Irglová talked of how important this win was to all the independent struggling artists. I loved her statement, “Fair play to those who dare to dream”.
Hansard is from the Irish group The Frames. Here, and in the movie “Once”, he is teamed with the classically trained Czech vocalist and pianist, Markéta Irglová. The mix of lyrics, guitar, piano, and their two voices are incredible.
The album The Swell Season takes it name from Hansard’s favorite books, The Swell Season: A Text On The Most Important Things In Life by Josef Skvorecky. The story is about a music loving man in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. The CD is a nice nod to the story, because it too deals with the struggle of people to find themselves, and find love, and to make sense of the world.
The songs and the sounds of the Swell Season CD are unique. It’s folk-rock and indy rock, but shows influences of Irish music as well as classical music. And it works. I can not describe the depth and the emotion that comes through on this CD. The songs have a live feel to them, very personal, and heartbreakingly real. Many of the songs on the CD are featured in their attention getting independent movie “Once”, including that Oscar winner “Falling Softly”.
Songs on The Swell Season:
When Your Minds Made Up
The Swell Season
The Oscar Aftermath