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iTunes Review

It’s tempting to look for details about Marketa Irglova’s relationship with her Swell Season bandmate Glen Hansard in the songs on her solo debut, Anar; after all, she gained international fame as Hansard’s romantic partner in the film Once. But searching too hard might detract from the pleasures of this guileless, delicately textured album. Irglova’s solo music brings to mind the piano-centered songs of early Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny, with a bit of Enya’s studio atmospherics. She mostly sings in hushed tones, surrounded by arrangements that dress up her bittersweet melodies in acoustic sounds and soft rhythms. Her lyrics are largely of a piece, offering elegies to wilted love in diary-like language that draws the listener in close. Layered harmonies give luster to “Your Company” and “We Are Good,” while “Go Back” moves to a slow shuffle that leads into soul-pop territory. Though the pervasive mood is melancholy, tracks like “Wings of Desire” and “Let Me Fall in Love” capture a fragile sense of joy.

Customer Reviews

Marketa makes a successful leap to solo artist from The Swell Season.

I had the opportunity to listen to the entire album streaming online for a week before the release and I must have played it four or five times. I've always enjoyed Marketa's contributions to The Swell Season but sensed she was not being given enough room to expand. I applaud her foray into the solo realm as it has really shown her maturity as a singular artist. Favourite tracks right now include For Old Times' Sake (which I think might bean ode to her former partner Glen Hansard, which makes the lyrics all that more poignant) and Dokhtar Goochani. I found I got from this album what I felt was lacking from Feist's recent release which felt pretty monotonous throughout, whereas Irglova, with the same angelic voice, really pushes all the right chords to create an overall more interesting, layered album.

Really great album

reminds me of a combo of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell and her own beautiful melodies and lyrics


Born: 1988

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A vocalist and talented multi-instrumentalist, Markéta Irglová's musical career began with a chance meeting and a garden party. Born in 1988, the Czech musician began playing piano and guitar at a young age, and was only 13 when her parents met Glen Hansard, vocalist and guitarist for the Irish rock band the Frames. At a party hosted by Irglová's parents, Hansard heard the young girl sing the Frames song "Star Star"; the next day, Irglová was performing the song with the band on-stage. After recording...
Full bio