Interview: The Swell Season Feeling Lucky With Strict Joy

The following was originally published on Exclaim.ca.

theswellseason-strictjoy

Exclusive: The Swell Season Feeling Lucky with Strict Joy
10/16/2009 By Jessica Lewis

For Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová of the Oscar-winning duo the Swell Season, things just seem to be “written in the stars,” whether it’s the elements that went in to putting together their upcoming new album, Strict Joy, or just knowing one another.

Even though the record’s main themes seem to be about the romantic break-up between the pair, who had the surprise breakout hit with Once, they’re still strong enough to make another record. So it’s the technical background we can get interested in now.

Hansard and Irglová took just under a month recording the album in Connecticut with the Frames and acclaimed producer Peter Kadis in his home studio. Hansard and Irglová went to the studio because they were enamoured with Kadis’s past work with the National’s album Boxer, and ended up recording a handful of songs in a whirlwind.

“We just play songs out, to figure them out, to feel out what they’re doing, what they’re saying,” said Hansard in a recent interview with Exclaim! “And when you get enough of them, you go and put them down, and really, going into making a record sometimes, you’re not even set out to make an album. You’re just setting out to put stuff down. That’s what happened with this. It was a very easy record to make, we’re very happy with it.”

Irglová agrees. “It was written in the stars,” she said. “I think life is full of those magical moments, if you just allow them to happen. If you live your life deciding you’re going to go with the flow and trust life, then you do find yourself in places you never imagined yourself being and for me that’s what it’s all about.”

Hansard goes on to say that the luck isn’t just in the stars, but also in the unassuming business model, saying, “It was more just the main concern of any band is to put out decent work and to continue doing gigs where you can communicate your songs clearly and correctly. And hopefully, if you’re doing your job right, to be able to play the same room every time you come back to town or play a bigger one. Some bands might say, ‘Okay, here’s the end game, and here is what we need to do to get there.’ We pretty much made a record and said, ‘Right now we have a record. What do we do with it?’ So it is a slightly different way of looking at it. It definitely works for us so far.”

The duo commissioned Hansard’s fellow Frames members to be the support on the album after a tour, as well as included a few guests. What they ended up with was a full sound complete with just that: more voices, more sound and more ambitions.

Originally due out September 29, Strict Joy‘s release date was pushed back a month due to artwork conflicts. It will now be released on October 27 through Anti-.

The Swell Season will be wooing Canada on these dates:

11/3 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
11/4 Montreal, QC -; Olympia de Montreal
11/25 Vancouver, BC – The Center

Sidenote: You can now stream Strict Joy in full over at NPR.

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