No matter how you earmark a release, saying someone is a singer songwriter could snooze almost anyone who hears that phrase. Singer Songwriters may have become a slur in some circle, though those people may have not heard the stunning sounds that come from Glen Hansard. Hansard has always tread his own path in a world that might not be ready for what he brings next post his band The Frames. What he’s brought is a collection of songs with those who sought to collaborate with him, becoming This Wild Willing. Though the album stuns at every turn, it’s a sound you don’t get to hear very often anymore, making it stand on itsown in a world that might not be ready for it.
The album stirs your insides, it is rife with emotional heft and it evokes what you wanted every singer songwriter to do in the past-live in the moment. The entire album is a collection of moments that feels personal and deep, even if that wasn’t their intent. The slow build of weight behind “I’ll Be You, Be Me” reminds you of music made by the likes of Lou Reed and Van Morrison in how it plays out. “Fool’s Game” is delicate and soft without feeling light or fleeting, it just is and it is beauty defined in the simplicity of itself. When the track opens up it thrives like a lower in the sunlight, and grows like a weed through a fence line.
Hansard is here, there’s no pretense, just beautiful vignettes of time placed together as a collection rather than a narrative. Where “Brother’s Keeper” has the earmarks of a song being sung by a weary traveler it gets met with other tracks that are almost opposite in the representation. “Mary” has a nomadic feel, “Threading Water” has the weight of the sea and “Good Life Of Song” takes its time to get to the drop, offering a deep connection to all that comes forward in a way that sticks with you after it plays. The entire alum feels like a haunting memory of how music once was, and make your ears desire for more of a sound you may never hear again.
This Wild Willing is available to stream on all streaming platforms, it can be purchased digitally in all online music retailers, and it can be bought from Anti-Records. Glen Hansard is on tour in London tonight at Barbican Centre until September 28 in Dana Point, CA at Ohana Music Festival.A complete listing of his tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Stephan Vanfleteren.