The Once soundtrack must have been a tough act to follow, especially as Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová endured a well publicized split in the aftermath of its success. But the unusual pairing has a new album out to promote titled Strict Joy, and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s show to play “The Rain” from it.
The difference between this and previous Swell Season material is minimal—it’s still insufferably polite, and works perfectly as the kind of low-volume cocktail party soundtrack that seeps in one ear and falls straight out of the other. Even the “raucous” ending to the song sounds restrained, although it does allow Hansard the chance to pull some I’m-so-earnest facial expressions.
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