Glen Hansard

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Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard - Lucca Comics & Games 2015 2.JPG
Hansard in 2015
Background information
Born (1970-04-21) 21 April 1970 (age 49)
Ballymun, Dublin, Ireland
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, actor
Years active1990–present
Associated acts
Hansard and Marketa Irglova playing at Cool Discs record store, Derry, Northern Ireland, April 2006 Glen marketa derry 2006.jpg
Hansard and Markéta Irglová playing at Cool Discs record store, Derry, Northern Ireland, April 2006

Glen Hansard (born 21 April 1970) [1] is an Irish songwriter, actor, vocalist and guitarist for the Irish group The Frames, and one half of folk rock duo The Swell Season. He is also known for his acting, having appeared in the BAFTA-winning film The Commitments , as well as starring in the film Once , which earned him a number of major awards, including an Academy Award for Best Song. [2]

The Frames band

The Frames are an Irish band based in Dublin. Founded in 1990 by Glen Hansard, the band has been influential in the Dublin rock music scene. The group has released six albums. In addition to Hansard, the band's current line-up includes original member Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Joe Doyle, Rob Bochnik and Graham Hopkins.

Folk rock is a hybrid music genre combining elements of folk music and rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U.S., folk rock emerged from the folk music revival and the influence that the Beatles and other British Invasion bands had on members of that movement. Performers such as Bob Dylan and the Byrds—several of whose members had earlier played in folk ensembles—attempted to blend the sounds of rock with their preexisting folk repertoire, adopting the use of electric instrumentation and drums in a way previously discouraged in the U.S. folk community. The term "folk rock" was initially used in the U.S. music press in June 1965 to describe the Byrds' music.

The Swell Season band

The Swell Season is a folk rock duo formed by Irish musician Glen Hansard and Czech singer and pianist Markéta Irglová. "The Swell Season" name is derived from Hansard's favourite novel by Josef Škvorecký from 1975 bearing the same title. Their debut album, released in 2006, carried the same name.



Hansard quit school at age 13 to begin busking on local Dublin streets. [3] He formed his own band The Frames in 1990, and the group have been gigging regularly in Ireland since. Hansard came to international attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the 1991 Alan Parker film The Commitments . He has often stated that he regretted taking the role because he felt it distracted him from his music career. In 2003, he presented the television programme Other Voices: Songs from a Room , which showcased Irish music talent on RTÉ.[ citation needed ]

Alan Parker English film producer and director

Sir Alan William Parker is an English film director, producer and screenwriter. Parker's early career, beginning in his late teens, was spent as a copywriter and director of television advertisements. After about ten years of filming adverts, many of which won awards for creativity, he began screenwriting and directing films.

<i>The Commitments</i> (film) 1991 film based on the novel "The Commitments" by Roddy Doyle

The Commitments is a 1991 musical comedy-drama film based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle. It was directed by Alan Parker from a screenplay written by Doyle, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Set in the northside of Dublin, the film tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young music fanatic who assembles a group of working-class youths to form a soul band named "The Commitments".

Raidió Teilifís Éireann Public service (and largest) broadcaster of Ireland, 1926-

Raidió Teilifís Éireann is a semi-state company and the national public service media of Ireland. It both produces programmes and broadcasts them on television, radio and the Internet. The radio service began on 1 January 1926, while regular television broadcasts began on 31 December 1961, making it one of the oldest continuously operating public service broadcasters in the world. RTÉ also publishes a weekly lifestyle magazine called the RTÉ Guide.

On 22 April 2006, he released his first album without The Frames, The Swell Season , on Overcoat Recordings in collaboration with Czech singer and multi-instrumentalist Markéta Irglová, Marja Tuhkanen from Finland on violin and viola, and Bertrand Galen from France on cello. Hansard also spent part of 2006 in front of the cameras for the music-infused Irish film Once , in which Hansard plays a Dublin busker, and Irglová an immigrant street vendor. The film had its United States premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and received the Festival's World Cinema Audience Award. During the promotional tour, he and Irglová began dating. [4] Said Hansard about his relationship with Irglova: "I had been falling in love with her for a long time, but I kept telling myself she's just a kid". [5]

<i>The Swell Season</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

The Swell Season is the self-titled and first album by the duo The Swell Season,, released in 2006. "Falling Slowly" went on to be nominated for a Grammy and win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2008.

Overcoat Recordings is an American record label specializing in alt country and indie rock music. It is based in Chicago, Illinois, and its owner is Howard Greynolds, who was formerly an employee of Thrill Jockey.

Markéta Irglová Czech singer-songwriter, musician and actress

Markéta Irglová is a Czech singer-songwriter, musician and actress. In 2008, she won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly", which was co-written with Glen Hansard.

Hansard had recorded a version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" for the film I'm Not There in 2007. In 2009, Hansard said that he and Irglova were no longer romantically linked, and that they are now "good friends". [6]

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for six decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics during this period incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.

"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1967 in Woodstock, New York, during the self-imposed exile from public appearances that followed his July 29, 1966 motorcycle accident. A recording of Dylan performing the song in September 1971 was released on the Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II album in November of that year, marking the first official release of the song by its author. An earlier 1967 recording of the song, performed by Dylan and the Band, was issued in 1975 on the album The Basement Tapes.

<i>Im Not There</i> 2007 film by Todd Haynes

I'm Not There is a 2007 musical drama film directed by Todd Haynes and co-written with Oren Moverman, inspired by the life and music of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan's public personas: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw. A caption at the start of the film declares it to be "inspired by the music and the many lives of Bob Dylan"; this is the only mention of Dylan in the film apart from song credits, and his only appearance in it is concert footage from 1966 shown during the film's final moments.

Aside from his projects with The Frames and Irglová, Hansard also took part as a member of the band on the 2006 Oxfam charity album, The Cake Sale . Hansard has recorded several cover songs, both alone and with band member Colm Mac Con Iomaire, for the Today FM discs Even Better than the Real Thing. Songs that he has recorded include Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" on Even Better than the Real Thing Vol. 1 and Britney Spears' "Everytime" on Vol. 2 .[ citation needed ]

Oxfam humanitarian organization

Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations. Winnie Byanyima has been the executive director of Oxfam International since 2013.

The Cake Sale are a collective of mostly Irish musical artists including Swedish singer/songwriter Nina Persson of The Cardigans and Australian musician Nick Seymour of Crowded House.

Cover version later version of a song already established with a different earlier performer

In popular music, a cover version, cover song, revival, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording by someone other than the original artist or composer of a previously recorded, commercially released song.

He voiced a role on an episode ("In the Name of the Grandfather") on The Simpsons as an Irish busker.[ citation needed ] A new album of original songs recorded as The Swell Season with Markéta Irglová and entitled Strict Joy was released on 27 October 2009 on the ANTI- record label. [7]

In the Name of the Grandfather 434th episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons

"In the Name of the Grandfather" is the fourteenth episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It first aired on Sky1 on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2009 and aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 22, 2009. It was the first episode of the show to premiere in Europe before airing on Fox. In the episode, the Simpsons buy a new hot tub and spend so much time relaxing in it that they neglect Abraham "Grampa" Simpson. Homer decides to make it up to Grampa by helping him do one thing he wants to do. Grampa reminisces about O'Flanagan's pub in Ireland where he once had the best night of his life so the Simpsons travel there. Marge, Bart and Lisa visit various Irish landmarks while Homer and Grampa buy O'Flanagan's during a night of binge drinking and soon discover that pubs are no longer popular in Ireland.

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

Glen Hansard, live at Vicar Street, Dublin, 31 December 2006 Glen-hansard-vicar-st.jpg
Glen Hansard, live at Vicar Street, Dublin, 31 December 2006

In the summer of 2011, he joined Eddie Vedder on his American solo tour in support of Vedder's solo album, Ukulele Songs. He played a solo concert at the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Guitar Heroes exhibit in New York City in May 2011. [8] and on Cape Cod at the Cape Cinema on 17 June. [9]

In September 2011, he played at Pearl Jam's 20th Anniversary Festival PJ20 at the Alpine Valley Theatre outside of East Troy, Wisconsin. Hansard plays several guitars, including a very recognisable battered Takamine NP15 acoustic guitar (even sporting a large hole), which he calls "The Horse". [10]

In a November 2011 interview [11] in The Huffington Post with Irglova, it was revealed that Hansard was preparing a solo album and that there was a very possible third release from The Swell Season. This solo album was later revealed to be titled Rhythm and Repose . [12]

American Songwriter included Hansard's "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" on its The Muse July Sampler. [13] Another song of his featured in a film soundtrack is This Gift, which appears in The Odd Life of Timothy Green .[ citation needed ]

Hansard sang the song "Take the Heartland" on the soundtrack for the 2012 film The Hunger Games . Another song he wrote, "Come Away to the Water", is featured on the soundtrack, but is covered by Maroon 5 and Rozzi Crane. Hansard can be found singing "Come Away to the Water" on the deluxe edition of his first solo album Rhythm and Repose. He guest-starred in an episode of the TV series, Parenthood , playing himself. In the episode, "Trouble in Candyland", he performed "High Hope", a single from his solo debut album Rhythm and Repose. [14]


Hansard has remarked about his musical influences: "In my house, when I was a kid, there was the holy trinity, which was Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan with Bob sitting centre." [15] Hansard and The Frames toured as the support act for Bob Dylan in Australia and New Zealand in August 2007 and Hansard often performs Van Morrison's songs in concert. Two such songs include "Into the Mystic", and "And the Healing Has Begun" which were included on the collector's edition of the soundtrack for the film Once.

Hansard is a devotee of Krishna and performed for the 80th birthday of Swami Prabhupada in London, staying at a manor donated to the Hare Krishna movement by The Beatles' George Harrison, who was a Hare Krishna devotee. [16] In July 2013, he sang with Bruce Springsteen at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, Ireland. In July 2015, he performed "Raglan Road" with Ed Sheeran in Croke Park, Dublin.[ citation needed ]


In 2008, Hansard took a four-week filmmaking workshop at the New York Film Academy. [17]

In 2016, Hansard was a prominent member of the Home Sweet Home Group, a coalition of activists and homeless. [18] The group broke into Apollo House in Dublin and illegally occupied it. [19] They eventually had to vacate the premises due to trespassing. [20]

Awards and nominations

Academy Award nominations and wins

Grammy nominations and wins




TitleDetailsPeak chart positionsSales
Rhythm and Repose
  • Release date: 19 June 2012
  • Label: Anti-
Didn't He Ramble
  • Release date: 18 September 2015
  • Label: Anti-
Between Two Shores
  • Release date: 19 January 2018 [29]
  • Label: Anti-
This Wild Willing
  • Release date: 12 April 2019
  • Label: Anti-

Singles and EPs

  • This Gift (2012) (promo)
  • High Hope (2012) (promo)
  • Bird of Sorrow (2012) (promo)
  • Love Don't Leave Me Waiting (2012) (promo)
  • Drive All Night (November 2013)
  • It Was Triumph We Once Proposed...Songs of Jason Molina EP (17 March 2015)
  • Winning Streak (30 June 2015)
  • Lowly Deserter (November 2015) - (Sky Stone & Records)
  • A Season on the Line EP (February 2016)

The Frames

Studio albums

TitleDetailsPeak chart positions

Another Love Song 77
  • Release date: November 1995
  • Re-release : 29 October 1996
  • Label: ZTT Records
Dance the Devil
  • Release date: 25 June 1999
  • Label: ZTT Records
For the Birds
  • Release date: 2 April 2001
  • Label: Plateau Records
Burn the Maps
  • Release date: 17 September 2004
  • Label: Plateau Records
The Cost
  • Release date: 20 September 2006
  • Label: Plateau, ANTI-
Longitude [37]
  • Release date: 10 July 2015
  • Label: Plateau, ANTI-
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums

TitleDetailsPeak chart positions
IRE [33]
Breadcrumb Trail
  • Release date: June 2002
  • Label: Plateau Records
Set List
  • Release date: May 16, 2003
  • Label: Plateau Records

Singles and EPs

  • "The Dancer" (1991)
  • "Realisation Music" (1992) (promo)
  • "Masquerade" (1992)
  • Turn on Your Record Player EP (1992)
  • "Picture of Love" (1993)
  • Angel at My Table EP (1994) (promo)
  • "Revelate" (1996)
  • "Monument" (1996)
  • I Am the Magic Hand EP (15 February 1999)
  • "Pavement Tune" (1999)
  • Rent Day Blues EP (December 1999)
  • Come on Up to the House (1999) (compilation featuring "Star Star" by The Frames)
  • "Lay Me Down" (2001)
  • "Headlong" (2002)
  • The Roads Outgrown EP (2003)
  • "Fake" (12 September 2003)
  • "Finally" (20 August 2004)
  • "Sideways Down" (28 January 2005)
  • "Happy" (Radio Single Only; 2005)
  • "Sad Songs" (2006)
  • "Falling Slowly"/"No More I Love Yous" (2006; promo)

The Swell Season


Singles and EPs

  • "When Your Mind's Made Up" (2008) (promo)
  • "Low Rising" (2009) (promo)

Films and television

See also

Related Research Articles

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Graham Hopkins is an Irish drummer. He is the drummer in The Swell Season, The Frames, and former drummer for the hard rock/punk rock band Therapy?.

<i>The Cost</i> (album) 2006 studio album by The Frames

The Cost is the sixth studio album by The Frames, released in Ireland on Plateau Records on 20 September 2006. The album was released worldwide on ANTI- on 20 February 2007. The album exhibits a sound more like that of For the Birds than their more recent album Burn the Maps. The Frames' line-up for The Cost features Glen Hansard on guitar and vocals, Colm Mac Con Iomaire on violin and keyboards, Joseph Doyle on bass guitar and backing vocals, Rob Bochnik on lead guitar and Graham Hopkins who played drums in place of the Frames' regular drummer Johnny Boyle. It was recorded in Black Box, France by Stephen Fitzmaurice and David Odlum with assistance from Fabian Lesure. The front and back covers feature photography by frontman Hansard of oak leaves, accompanied by a handwritten inscription reading: "Ni identitat permanent, ni idea de persona, ni d'ésser vivent, ni d'un temps d'existència". The album is enigmatically dedicated to "Multi ".

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Once is a 2007 Irish romantic musical drama film written and directed by John Carney. The film stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová as two struggling musicians in Dublin, Ireland. Hansard and Irglová had previously performed music as the Swell Season, and composed and performed the film's original songs.

Joe Doyle is the bassist and backing singer for Irish rock band The Frames and The Swell Season. He has been a member of The Frames since 1996, appearing on six albums to date. In addition to appearing on Frames albums, he has also plays bass and contributes backing vocals to two Swell Season albums: the soundtrack to "Once" and "Strict Joy." He is currently touring as a member of the Swell Season, which also includes Glen Hansard (vocals/guitar), Marketa Irglova (vocals/piano), Graham Hopkins, Rob Botchnik and Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Doyle originates from Allenwood, County Kildare, Ireland.

"Falling Slowly" is a song in the indie folk and indie rock genres that was written, composed and performed by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 2007 Irish musical romance film Once, which starred Hansard and Irglová, and for which it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 80th Academy Awards. The song was also recorded by Hansard's band The Frames.

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