Friday’s Favorite: The Swell Season

Since I listen to music pretty much 24/7 (seriously, I fall asleep to music, listen to it when I’m working, when I’m walking – the only time I don’t listen to music is when I’m reading), most of my Friday’s Favorites will be talking about bands that excite me.  First up: The Swell Season. I first noticed Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the movie Once.  If you haven’t seen this brilliant independent Irish movie, you should go watch it.  NOW.  Once follows the relationship of two strangers who meet and bond over music.  The Once soundtrack is on constant rotation on my iPod.  Glen and Markéta won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly.”  Their acceptance speech was, to me, one of the most memorable in recent years.

Glen and Markéta have a band, The Swell Season, with members of The Frames (Glen’s earlier band).  Their latest CD, Strict Joy, was one of my favorite albums of last year.  The songs are full of honest lyrics and beautiful melodies.  “Fantasy Man,” “High Horses” and “Low Rising” are three of my favorite songs.  (Check out the brilliant video for “Low Rising” at

I recently got to see The Swell Season perform at Radio City Music Hall.  I see a lot of concerts, but this was one of my favorites.  The members of Swell Season are true musicians who perform with their hearts on their sleeves and evoke countless emotions from their audience.  As someone who plays the guitar and piano, seeing masters of their craft up close was very inspiring.  It was a truly magical evening.