By now, you may know everything there is to know about indie musicians-turned-Oscar winners Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The duo—better known as “that couple from Once”—scored the biggest surprise hit of 2007 with their low-budget romantic musical, and then delivered the most memorable moment of the Academy Awards when Irglová was offered a do-over acceptance speech sans abrupt outro music.
But here’s something I didn’t know: Hansard had such little faith that Once was going to fly—the original DIY distribution plan had the director and two stars driving around Hansard’s native Ireland with the film, and maybe heading to the Czech Republic if, you know, things went well—that he released the songs as Swell Season. The Frames frontman’s first solo effort sold all of 300 copies before the film eventually hit Sundance, and was then basically repackaged as a soundtrack. The rest is history.
Although the overlap is considerable, there are some original Swell Season tracks that don’t appear in the film. Those tracks, and the added layering of Marja Tuhkanen’s violin and Bertrand Galen’s cello make this nice complement to the soundtrack’s endearingly simple piano-and-guitar tracks. It’s yet another reason to fawn over this love struck duo. (Skylar Browning)
Swell Season plays the Wilma Theatre Thursday, May 1, at 8 PM. Sold out.