If you remember the heart-wrenching indie blockbuster that was 2007’s Once, then you probably remember being totally enamored with leading man and Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard. Glen has continued making music with and without co-star Markéta Irglová since then and this four song EP marks his second solo release.
The centerpiece of the EP is a cover of Springsteen’s near nine-minute epic, “Drive All Night.” Glen’s passionate, raw croon is front and center with sparkling acoustic flourishes keeping the song moving. The song features two special guests though unfortunately, Eddie Vedder’s presence on the track doesn’t add much besides a pleasant harmony or two. However, the subtle, swelling saxophone lines of Jake Clemons, nephew to The Big Man himself positively makes the song. Jake fades out during the verses and explodes in the breaks – truly, this is Clemons’ song. The other three songs came from sessions for Hansard’s solo debut and certainly sound the part. Lots of piano, muted guitar and gentle crescendos provide support for Glen’s pristine singing, bringing to mind rolling Celtic hills, frigid shores and a misty Irish countryside. “Step Into The Shadows” ends things surprisingly, with only Hansard’s voice belting out a nearly hymnal melody.
If you weren’t already a fan of Hansard’s, this won’t make you one. However, as a follow-up to his debut and quick release to keep fans tied over – it’s great and bound to enhance your quiet evenings and late night walks. (Anti-, anti.com) Seamus Hamilton-Pattison