Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

The Swell Season 

8 p.m. Friday, December 4. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

The best sequels stand on their own, in story lines and aesthetics. So it is with the Swell Season's 2009 album, Strict Joy. Although Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová can't completely erase the burnished, cinéma vérité romance of their NPRgasm-inducing Once soundtrack, the duo sounds more like a partnership with staying power on Joy — even as it evokes lovers doomed to embrace only in a song. With more consistent material and richer arrangements, the album finds Hansard mastering dynamics, building songs to heartbreaking climaxes and settling into resignation, while Irglová's occasional lead vocals walk a tightrope between determination and frailty. Who needs a day-to-day relationship (the two are no longer a romantic item) when your harmonies and melodies feel realer than real life?

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of...

Latest in Critics' Picks

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation