swell season 300x250 Once Again: Couple Split, But Music LivesRemember Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the movie “Once“? They starred in the hit film together, won an Oscar for Best Song, had a bestselling soundtrack. They even got together in real life. It seems so long ago now, 2007. Time flies!

Well, they’re back, only they split as a couple. Glen tells me they’re “just friends.” They’re now called The Swell Season. They’re sort of like Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. And they’ve got a new, terrific album called “Strict Joy.” The first single should be a hit if, you know, radio stations still played music by people over 12. It’s called “Low Rising.” Here’s the video.

“Strict Joy” is almost all original material. But come on, they’re Irish ‘ they had to cover Van Morrison. And so “Into the Mystic” gets treated reverentially at first, and then it soars. Hansard is a stirring Irish vocalist, as Irish vocalists can be. Marketa makes a perfect counterpoiut.

No, they don’t have the hook of a new film. I joked with Glen they should have called the new album “Once Again.” But they’re trying to move on. Let’s move on with them!

The Swell Season tour kicks off tonight in Mesa, Arizona.

By the way, despite the “Once” soundtrack being on Sony/Epic, Glen decided to leave the big label world. The Swell Season is signed to hot indie label, Anti. What are they Anti? You can guess.

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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