I have a friend who'd been trying to turn me on to Glen Hansard for years now. Initially it was through his Irish band, The Frames. He sort of stumbled across them at a festival and was blown away.
When the movie Once came out, Hansard wrote the songs and starred in it, I enjoyed it well enough. Obviously he's a powerful performer. Still, I couldn't connect with his recorded work.
That was until I saw him live this past summer. It was my friend who insisted I do whatever it takes to see him live, even if it meant a road trip. So I flew to New York to see him at the Beacon.
I'd been listening to is solo album, Rhythm And Repose, which he released in late spring. Again, I'd been having a hard grasping an appreciation for it, but when I saw him live I, too, was enthralled.
Then I went back and listened to the solo album again. Though it did resonate a bit more it still wasn't bowling me over.
You've heard about an album that's a grower. The one that takes repeated listens to fully appreciate. In this never ending onslaught of new music today, that's a hard sell. It's not just Hansard's new album that takes time, he's the one that's a grower.
I'd hear songs from the album on SiriusXM and slowly they began to blossom from what at first seemed like trifles into lavish compositions. I was finally in. And Hansard's album rests high on my best of the year list.
Maybe you're having the same problem as me. I explained it to my friend and he totally got it. That's the kind of artist Glen Hansard is. You really need to live with his songs for awhile.
And you need to see him live. To that end I came across this show filmed this past summer in Germany. Enjoy.