Sunday, October 18, 2009

First listen...

For those who don't know, NPR's website offers an exclusive first listen to some albums prior to their release date. Last week, they began streaming The Swell Season's second album 'Strict Joy' in full.

Strict Joy is a follow-up to their self-titled debut release in 2006. It is sad that none of the press around the new album mentions this cd, focusing on the soundtrack to Once instead (which features a number of the same songs). I would encourage anyone who liked Once or intends to buy Strict Joy, to buy The Swell Season too. You won't regret it.

My first impression of the record was that I had been reacquanited with an old friend, (or I was sitting with two people as they sang about their experience of life) The lyric of the album are so genuine. As in their debut record, the lyrics are laid on a foundation of acoustic guitar, strings (mostly).

Glen Hansard has a beautful way of communicating emotion and connecting to experience. The tracks Fantasy Man and I Have Loved You Wrong, give Marketa opportunity to sing the lead vocal. The album is a sparkling gem and has grown on each listen. The album is released on October 23rd. (via Spunk Records).

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