Glen Hansard And Marketa Irglova ‎
The Swell Season

Overcoat Recordings

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The Swell Season's self-titled debut record is finally available on LP for the first time. The band has went on to wider success through their work in the Academy Award winning film, Once and have since issued both a soundtrack and a second record on Anti Records. However this was the quiet debut release that started it all, recorded shortly prior to the filming of the movie.

At the time Glen Hansard of The Frames had recently teamed up with classically trained Czech vocalist and pianist, Marketa Irglova to write a handful of affecting songs and compositions for their friend and filmmaker, John Carney. Some of these songs would go onto make the film, Once while others didn't. The two choose to issue this record on CD and digitally shortly after thinking it unlikely that there would ever be an actual soundtrack or distribution of the film they had just completed. Of course this could not have been further from what ultimately happened.

Listening back through The Swell Season in comparison to Frames records, the songs on Once or their recent record, Strict Joy one can't help but be struck by just how intimate the whole affair feels. Recorded in a small studio in the Czech Republic with a limited budget the two are joined only by two other string players giving the songs a sense of space and isolation. A feeling that works particularly well for this batch of songs and in particular a vinyl record.

The record stands on it's own as a complete piece on par with some of the more personal musical statements of the last few years. The Swell Season was released prior to the Once soundtrack. When it came time to put the soundtrack together the band rerecorded four of the songs for the soundtrack. The other six songs are specific to this release and not available elsewhere. The Swell Season continue to tour the world over and release music through the Anti/Epitaph record label. – Press Release

“Recorded in Prague over just four days with a simple, stripped down quartet - Irglova's piano and Hansard's guitar, bolstered by Marja Tuhkanen on violin and Bertrand Galen's cello - the album spans the downward trajectory of a doomed relationship. There's painful yearning in the heartbreaking 'Falling Slowly' ("Take this sinking boat and point it home/We've still got time, raise your hopeful voice"), self-loathing ('Leave') and despair ('Sleeping' - "And all that you've ever owned/Is packed in the hall to go/ And how am I supposed to live without you?").

The centrepiece of the album is Irglova's piano-driven title song, three minutes of perfect melancholy. She has an airy, pure voice which combines beautifully with Hansard's throughout the album, most memorably on 'Lies' and 'Drown Out'. But it's also strong enough to stand alone on (slightly) hopeful closing track 'Alone Apart'.

Perfect end-of-the-evening listening, 'The Swell Season' is a beautiful, soul-wrenching album. For the daylight hours we'll look forward to The Frames' new LP.”RTE

Item description:


Glen Hansard And Marketa Irglova ‎


The Swell Season


Overcoat Recordings


Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress



Release Date:

This reissue: 2010 | Original - 2006


Folk, World, & Country



Catalog No: