I’ve long considered Glen Hansard, front man behind the bands the Frames and the Swell Season, to be something of a musical genius. From the first scene in the film Once when I was introduced to Mr. Hansard performing an acoustic cover of Van Morrison’s “And the Healing Has Begun” on the streets of Dublin, I knew that this Irish singer-songwriter had an inordinate amount of talent. He quickly earned his place among my favorite musicians and has remained there ever since.
After hearing news that Glen was releasing a solo album entitled Rhythm and Repose this summer, I anxiously counted the days until its release date on June 19th. In the meantime, YouTube offered me some musical solace with these little gems. The first two tunes posted below made it onto the album, a beautiful if not melancholy collection of compositions that stray a bit from the signature Hansard touch but demonstrate his versatility and songwriting brilliance. No matter how listeners respond to the album, it is hard to watch any of these videos and not be moved by Hansard’s raw talent and his raw passion for music.