Release Date: Sep 23, 2014
Record label: Anti
Genre(s): Gospel, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Christian, Religious, CCM
Markéta Irglová is probably still best known for her starring role in the 2007 film Once and its Oscar-winning song “Falling Slowly”. By extension, her time with co-star and musical partner Glen Hansard in the band the Swell Season helped bring her worldwide recognition. With the Swell Season on indefinite hiatus, though, both musicians have struck out on their own.
On “This Right Here”, the closing track off Markéta Irglová’s sophomore album, Muna, she sings, “Anything that I could say right now/ Would only be a pale reflection of what I feel. ” In a way, that sentiment of holding back has summed up the 26-year-old Czech-born pianist and songwriter’s career thus far. As half of The Swell Season, a folk project with The Frames’ Glen Hansard, who’s best known for starring in and providing Oscar-winning music for the indie film Once, Irglová was often relegated to being the introspective counterpoint to Hansard’s powerful voice and magnetic stage presence.
It's difficult to separate Czech singer/songwriter Markéta Irglová from her duo with Glen Hansard, the Swell Season, and their improbable rise following their star turn in the tiny, perfect indie film Once. Irglová always seemed the serious virtuoso to Hansard's free-spirited poet, an impression borne out in her solo work, which benefits from her gloriously crystalline soprano but lacks the passion that brought such life to the Swell Season's duets. Irglová's sophomore release, Muna (Icelandic for "to remember"), still has a delicate, emotive touch, though the overly sombre approach to her cinematic folk tunes makes for a somewhat unvaried listen over 51 minutes.
Marketa Irglova, the female half of The Swell Season of Once fame, wrote her new album Muna with God in mind. Inspired by Jesus Christ Superstar and Neale Donald Walsh's book Conversations With God, Muna is riddled with Biblical references, both in lyrics and orchestration. With song titles like "Mary," "Point of Creation," and "Gabriel," Irglova has a clear theme for this work.