I’ll just say it, and get it right out there; it’s best to be up front with these things. I’m in love with Glen Hansard.
Granted, I don’t actually know Glen Hansard. I guess it would be more accurate to say I’m in love with his brains. And his voice. But I don’t want to go on and on about his, you know… “features.” I wouldn’t want to objectify. Point is, he’s brilliant, and I’m a big enough person to admit to myself that he’s more talented than I will ever, ever be. I like it that way; it means I’ll always have him to look up to.
If you haven’t heard of Glen Hansard, here are the basics: He’s been a busker since he dropped out of school to pursue his music in his early teens. He’s the frontman of a band called The Frames. He had a supporting role (as the guitar player, natch) in the great film The Commitments. He starred in and composed/performed the music for a little independent film called Once, for which he and co-star/co-singer Marketa Irglova won an Oscar (for the music). (You can pick up this film on Amazon for $8, no kidding. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to do so immediately.) These days, he and Marketa Irglova (along with the occasional addition of the guys from The Frames) are performing as a band called The Swell Season, and their latest album, Strict Joy, just came out a few months ago.
I have trouble describing exactly the effect that Glen’s music has on me. I’ve often heard music that has moved me, but this is the first music that I feel has changed me. Something about the stories that Glen tells with his music and the voice he tells them with makes me want to be a better person, makes me want to know more and experience more and appreciate people more and generally just be more than I am. I’m not quite sure how to describe it to you, which is why I’d like for you to just experience it, which is why I’ve put together this post. Inside you’ll find free downloads (free and legal!), some of my favorite moments as brought to us by YouTube, and my commentary on why I’m so over the moon with it all. Think of it as a musical advent calendar, only you don’t have to wait at all between numbers. ;) If you’re not in the mood to listen to or read all of these, I do urge you to skip down to #1 on the list and check it out; I guarantee it’ll brighten up your day.
An Introduction to The Swell Season