Anar

Marketa Irglová

Anar

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.

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