August 12, 2009

New Swell Season :: “Fantasy Man”


In 2007, Glen Hansard (The Frames) and Marketa Irglova entranced a whole lot of us music lovers with the simple and sweet story of Once, and the flawless ways their voices blend together on the soundtrack of original material. The song “Falling Slowly” still puts a knot in my gut when I hear it, and that whole soundtrack is magic.

If you liked that film, you must stop what you are doing today and visit the NPR “Tiny Desk” concert series to hear the set they recently did with six new songs, plus an urgent and impassioned rendition of “When Your Mind’s Made Up” from the film. They are back with their first album of new material since that soundtrack.

Strict Joy is out October 27th (-Anti Records) under their proper band moniker, The Swell Season. The forthcoming album takes its name from a work by Irish poet James Stephens, and was co-produced by Hansard and Peter Katis (The National, Frightened Rabbit).

Of the six songs they previewed from the new album for the lucky folks at NPR, this one riveted me the fastest. The dulcet harmonies remind me quite a bit of Lisa Hannigan’s haunting work with Damien Rice…

Fantasy Man (live on NPR) – The Swell Season

…And I second NPR’s notion that “Feeling The Pull” sounds like a lost Van Morrison track — which reminds me how much I love this cover:

Into The Mystic (Once b-side, Van Morrison cover) – The Swell Season

Download the whole seven song podcast here.


  • Thank you so much for posting this. I love their voices and the movie ‘Once’ and am looking forward to any more music we can get from the two.

    Stephen — August 13, 2009 @ 8:45 am

  • I don’t know how Glen Hansard is so brilliant with his voice. He’s just sitting there ultra casually and his vocal yelling/yearning falsetto is so beautiful and, frankly, awe-inspiring. The way he can take it to that level with such intensity in his demeanor yet ease in his surroundings is beyond me. Gets me every time.

    Lee — August 13, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

  • I absolutely love this post. Great job as I so enjoyed every second, thanks.

    NiceNotNice — August 14, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  • Thanks for the heads up on this! That in-studio recording was great to listen to.

    groovyf — August 19, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

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