Glen Hansard vs...Himself?
To me, it's insane that Irish band The Frames haven't achieved greater fame yet. In 2003 they released one of the single greatest live albums in recent memory with their record, "Setlist". Lead singer Glen Hansard has an amazingly clear and versatile voice that soars above the layers of guitars and violins but he can still muster up a great holler (see "Revelate").
Earlier this year, Glen's side project with Czech pianist Marketa Irglova, a record called "The Swell Season" was released and is fantastic. Marketa's voice is able to twist itself around Glen's and really make you feel every bit of blood, sweat and tears that are evident in the lyrics.
This is best showcased in the track "Falling Slowly". These lyrics catch me every time:
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time, raise your hopeful voice
You had the choice, you've made it now
As if that weren't enough, the new Frames album, "The Cost", has a different version of the same song.
Check out the two tracks and see which one you dig most and let me know. I still can't decide...
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - Falling Slowly
The Frames - Falling Slowly
Also, Glen has made a contribution to a project called "The Cake Sale". The profits from the record, which features great acts such as Glen's friends and fellow Irish Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan, Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol, Josh Ritter and The Thrills, will be going to the Oxfams Make Trade Fair campaign. I haven't procured any mp3's yet, but several of the tracks can be listened to at the project's Myspace Page.
Swell Season Myspace Page
The Frames Homepage