You may recognize The Swell Season from 2008, when they made themselves kinda famous by winning a bunch of Grammies and an Oscar for the song "Falling Slowly," from the movie Once. The duo, Irish singer Glen Hansard and Czechi Markéta Irglová starred in the movie, and consequently fell in love and dated during the filming. Which makes the movie and songs so much more gushy and happy. I love stories like this, much like Alexander and Jade of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They too, however, have broken up since. (I never will understand how people can fall in love and pour their hearts into music and lyrics with someone and then continue to play the songs together once it's over as these folks do...)
Anyway, I've listened to The Swell Season a good bit off and on over the past few years, but they've recently (thanks to a Van Morrison kick) landed back on my radar. Check out their cover of "Into the Mystic" (my favorite tune from Van):
And here's "Falling Slowly," from Once:
And "Low Rising," from their last album (2009), Strict Joy:
I think this one is my favorite of all of them (cool video, too). I love the feel of it. Love his voice. Love the lyrics. Love the horns and the "lalalalalalalalala" at the end. (I guess I do hear a lot of Van Morrison influence there.) I don't want to discredit Markéta, but Glen Hansard is just a badass. A friend of mine ran into him on the street somewhere random in Europe this past fall and said he is a real sweetheart, too.