As soon as the name Glen Hansard comes up most people think of that iconic sonic moment in the film Once or perhaps a general allegiance to the classic lines and timeless songwriting styles of artists such as Dylan, Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen. But Hansard has always found ways of upsetting expectations and this new track from the looming fourth solo album, This Wild Willing, is as strange and mercurial as anything found in the darker and less immediate corners of his regular musical vehicle, The Frames, back-catalogue.
Here, his understated and often masked vocals are slowly subsumed by the musical storm which rises around him as the song progresses and the result is an oddly beautiful and beautifully odd, intense and slow wander through indie-folk’s outer reaches. It shows that even after all these years of making well-reviewed music he still finds odd places to go and is brave enough to risk confronting and confusing those who buy his records by changing the template without warning. Why be predictable when you can be brave, why play it safe when you can play it interestingly? Why indeed?