- 24 Feb 12
Glen Hansard is set to release his first solo album. As yet untitled, the record is slated for a June launch by Anti, and will be released on the Epitaph label.
The album is produced by Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), who also plays keyboards and piano on the record. Glen Hansard was one of a number of guest vocalists on Dovemsn's 2009 album, alongside Martha Wainwright. Norah Jones and Matt Berringer of The National.
"I've known Thomas for years," Glen told Hot Press. "But the idea for the record came out of nothing really. Thomas has this gig in the Poisson Rouge – he does this evening there, The Burgundy Sessions. There's a house band, and it's the kind of night where you can bring a song in, and play it, shouting out the chords to the guys as you go along."
Among the regular guests at the session are Antony Hegarty of Antony and The Johnsons, St. Vincent and guys from The National. Glen took a song in – with unexpected consequences...
"It's a very interesting space creatively. I sang the song and it went so well that I said to Thomas: 'could we book a studio tomorrow and record a couple of songs with these musicians'. It was amazing. We went in – and recorded nine songs in the session. And those songs are the basis of the record."
The album sprang at a more seminal level from Glen's desire to take time out, to experience different things.
"Last September, after we'd finished the last Swell Season gig of the tour, I said to the guys in the band that I needed to take some time out without gigging," Glen explained. "I was thinking, you know, the soil can go fallow if you don't give it a rest. And so they said, whatever you have to do, that's fine. I wanted to do a New York year – and so all my spare time has been spent there."
In the end, the musical pause has produced a burst of creativity.
"I hadn't planned to do a Glen Hansard record," he said. "Even though, in a way, it had been in the back of my mind all along. But now it's done. We've got the artwork. And the songs that happened at that first session are the nucleus of the record."
Among the titles being considered are Become – and Repose.
"There is an interview in that thought alone," Glen laughed. "But I was taking some time out, just to look around and experience things and the songs happened in that time of repose. Which is why i like the idea as a title.
"We tend to take less and less time out just to stare into space. Or to think and reflect. You see a couple in a restaurant and when she goes to the toilet, he's on his mobile phone straight away. So that is something I've been thinking about."