Last year, THE SWELL SEASON, the Oscar-winning duo of Frames frontman Glen Hansard and Czech ingenue Marketa Irglova, released Strict Joy, the follow-up to their beloved surprise hit
2007 film and gold-certified soundtrack Once. The twelve new, original songs on Strict Joy were recorded in 2008 and document a time of great change and tumult.
Strict Joy, which borrows its name from a work by Irish poet James Stephens, was co-produced by Hansard and Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), and recorded mostly at Katis’ Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, CT. In addition to Hansard and Irglova, the album features Frames members Colm Mac Iomaire (violin), Joe Doyle (bass), Rob Bochnik (guitar), plus guitarist Javier Mas (Leonard Cohen), pianist Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), percussionist Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground Duo), horn players Steven Bernstein and Clark Gayton from Levon Helm’s band, and others.
The Swell Season generated a wave of acclaim during the 2008 awards season, including two Grammy nominations and an Oscar win for Best Original Song, for their hit single “Falling Slowly.” The duo performed the song on the Oscars telecast, and Irglova provided one of the most memorable and poignant moments of the evening when host Jon Stewart called her back to the stage after a commercial break to give her acceptance speech.
The success of Once also led to a sold-out world tour for The Swell Season which was captured for an upcoming documentary.