Glen Hansard Releases Sophomore Album
Glen Hansard is no stranger to music. As front man for Irish band, The Frames, and part of the folk duo The Swell Season, it seemed only fitting that Hansard would venture out on his own. Following his first solo album, Rhythm & Repose, is his sophomore album, Didn’t He Ramble, which was released on September 18th by Anti- Records.
Recorded in Dublin, France, New York, and Chicago, Hansard spent a great deal of time working on this album—carefully crafting each of the songs. Even though there’s a mellow tone throughout Didn’t He Ramble, the 10-track album still manages to cover a full range of emotions and topics.
“Winning Streak” is the first single off the album and the most noteworthy. Its soothing melody and uplifting lyrics, intended for someone going through a tough time, are an instant mood-booster. Another inspiring message comes from “Grace Beneath the Pines,” the first track on the album. “Grace Beneath the Pines” starts off unhurried and mellow, but builds a momentum as the song progresses; the addicting intensity is finally released when Hansard repeatedly cries out the line, “I’ll get through this.”
At first listen, the lyrics of the second track, “Wedding Ring” are not as memorable, but it is the slow, calming beat that pulls the listener in for a closer look into the story behind the song, a troubled relationship. “Lowly Deserter” is another intriguing track that captivates with just the music alone. The use of a mandolin and trombone in the song creates an Irish, jazz vibe—musical bliss in the most unique way.
In an Amazon video short, Hansard talks about how it was important for him to really know what his songs were about, to know what he was singing about. He found this to be more important than simply being taken over by the “beauty and magic of a lyric or chord and the way they strike each other.” Each song on Didn’t He Ramble certainly does tell a story, but it is the playful relationship between the lyrics and chords that pulls the whole album together. It is the music that makes these stories come alive.