Along with 2012's Rhythm and Repose and 2015's Didn't He Ramble, singer-songwriter Glen Hansard completes something of a low-key folk trilogy with Between Two Shores.
This record from the former Frames frontman and Swell Season collaborator is a post-mortem of a failed relationship, and the thematic in-betweenness here makes it hard to pinpoint where on the emotional reckoning spectrum Hansard landed when he holed up in the recording studio. Early stage and angry? On "Your Heart's Not In It," he sings: "Stop turning your back on me / Every time someone passes by / Or mentions your name." Resigned and spiteful on "Movin' On"? "I'm tired of thinkin' about you baby/ I'm moving on." Or is it late-stage cliché, as on "Time Will Be the Healer"?
If nothing else, it's a good excuse to bring together Hansard's touring band and a list of impressive collaborators. Recorded in France and produced by Frames guitarist David Odlum, this is expertly crafted and lushly arranged folk-rock, with some pretty fabulous horns. Set aside some time to appreciate "Setting Forth," which features the otherworldly drumming of Brian Blade and members of his Fellowship Band.
Between Two Shores is frustratingly indecisive, but also lovely. (Anti)