Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: The Swell Season (EMI)

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Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: The Swell Season (EMI)
As I've said previously, music arrives on this Elsewhere page by virtue of its own strength rather than as a hip new thing bannered by promotion and prior critical acclaim from overseas. This album is another of those. I had no idea who Hansard was (I've subsequently learned he's the singer with an Irish band called The Frames whom I've also never previously heard of) and all I know of Irglova is that she is a Czech violinist and singer. But that's enough because this compelling and quiet album (which scatters a few instrumentals around between its alt.folk songs) has a sense of dark enchantment about it -- and it hasn't been out of my stereo rotate for a few weeks. An unexpectedly lovely album -- which belies the alarming cover.

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