Published Oct 20, 2009Pinpointing when Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová became known as the Swell Season is a surprisingly hard thing to do. The duo first worked together on the soundtrack for Jan Hřebejk's 2005 Czech film Beauty in Trouble, which lead to their debut album, the not-quite-yet self-titled release, The Swell Season.
In many ways, the record proved inspirational for John Carney's Once, the Irish indie flick that Hansard and Irglová not only wrote the songs for, but starred in as well. The film proved to be a great success by garnering plenty of critical acclaim, in addition to launching the pair in to the mainstream after their 2008 Academy Award victory for best original song. It's somewhere in this time frame that Hansard and Irglová made the band name official.
Now, after touring extensively and even starring in an episode of The Simpsons, the Swell Season are releasing their latest offering, Strict Joy, which is due out on October 27 via Anti- and now streaming on Exclaim.ca all week long.
You can hear the new album in its entirety by clicking here.
Strict Joy borrows its name from a work by Irish poet James Stephens and was co-produced by Hansard and Peter Katis (The National, Interpol). The album features many talented musicians, including members from Hansard other band the Frames like Colm Mac Iomaire (violin), Joe Doyle (bass) and Rob Bochnik (guitar), plus guitarist Javier Mas (Leonard Cohen), pianist Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), percussionist Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground Duo), horn players Steven Bernstein and Clark Gayton from Levon Helm's band, and others.
In addition to the new record, the Swell Season will be releasing a documentary focusing on their sold-out world tour in support of Once and, if all of this wasn't enough, Hansard and Irglová will tour North America extensively again this fall, with the Canadian dates listed here.
For now, Strict Joy is streaming at Exclaim.ca until October 26.