New music: Meet (solo) Glen Hansard

This is a folk fan’s musical paradise. Glen Hansard of The Swell Season is releasing his first-ever solo album this month. We’re already excited!

Glen Hansard

If you’re a lover of folk music and indie films, boy, do we have a treat for you…

Glen Hansard — Academy Award-winning songwriter, member of the The Swell Season and The Frames — is releasing his very own solo album. Hipsters, rejoice!

If you’re not well versed in the indie/folk scene of today, you may remember Hansard from the film Once, for which he and Marketa Irglova won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2008 with “Falling Slowly” (check it out — it’s beautiful).

Now the singer is back in the spotlight, anticipating the release of his first solo album, Rhythm and Repose, coming out on June 19.

“Emotionally it puts you in a different spot than when you’re sharing it with a band. You have to own every aspect,” the native Dubliner told the Toronto Star. “I feel ready. I’ve built up my strength.”

It’s hard to describe Hansard without sounding like a giddy schoolgirl in awe of her art professor, but he brings a degree of earnestness to his music — simplicity and experience. These are songs of a man who’s probably lived out of his car at some point or showered in the sink of a train bathroom. Accompanied by traditional string instruments, Hansard’s vocals just surround you in a metaphorical embrace of pure harmony. But we may be biased…

His solo album will not just be same old, same old either. Hansard is straying away from the expected heartache songs he’s famous for and branching out to life as a whole.

“If you’re only singing about relationships going right or wrong — mostly wrong, in my case — then at some point it’s like, ‘Dude, stop writing songs, and spend time with a psychiatrist. Figure this out.’ So I feel like I’m singing about something slightly different now, and it feels good.”

So what’s next? More music, or a timely break?

“I find there’s no appointment with the muse. It has no respect for your sleep habits or holidays. I have to tune the radio to that station, and sit and wait.”

There ye go. Hansard is slated to go on tour this summer and autumn, so keep those eyes peeled for tour dates, and check him out!

Photo courtesy of WENN.com

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