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Marketa Irglova, co-star of the hit movie Once and one half of Swell Season, with Glen Hansard, will release her second solo album, Muna, on Sept. 23 via Anti-. Irglova and Hansard both starred in, and performed their music for, the indie sensation Once, for which they won an Academy Award for the song “Falling Slowly.” Since then, the film and the duo’s music have translated to the Broadway hit Once the Musical, which went on to win eight Tony Awards and is currently running as well as touring the world.
Irglova wrote 11 songs over the course of a year for Muna, which she recorded in Iceland (where she now resides with her new baby girl) over six months with producer/engineer Sturla Mio Thorisson.
“I had been to Iceland for the first time with the Swell Season,” Irglova says. “I fell in love with it then and was sad to leave, although I knew someday something would bring me back. I am inspired by the open space, the wilderness of the nature, the strong energy coming from the land. There is a harmony, a balance, something that allows for a freer flow of creativity. It is easier to be one with oneself and one with everything and everyone around. This makes for better art, in my opinion.”
Muna means “remember” in Icelandic, a recurring theme throughout the album. You can hear a brand-new track, “This Right Here,” from it below.
Muna features 27 musicians, utilizing full choral, string and percussion pieces, plus guests Rob Bochnik (The Frames), Iranian daf player and vocalist Aida Shahghasemi, as well as Irglova’s sister Zuzi on backing vocals. Inspiration for the album partially came from Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s and Tim Rice’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar and a trilogy of books written by Neale Donald Walsh titled Conversations ith God.
Irglova recalls, “I believe God speaks through us in many ways, beginning with simple acts of kindness and ending with pieces of art that inspire millions for generations. All that matters is to try and get in touch with that part of ourselves and trust that which comes forth. I tried to that with this record.”
Irglova’s otherworldly music contains exotic textures, tones and spirituality. The album’s musical and lyrical themes contrast the smallness of individual concerns with the scale of the universe. “The result,” says Irglova, “is from the process of growing up — going through difficult times, getting lost and feeling left alone to find my way back.” And back Irglova is, with a new album Sept. 23 and a tour with dates listed below.
Her U.S. tour begins Oct. 8 in Ann Arbor, Mich., at The Ark and includes shows at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge (Oct. 10), Philadelphia’s World Cafe (Oct. 12), San Francisco’s Bimbo’s 365 Club (Oct. 23) and two shows at L.A.’s Hotel Cafe (Oct. 24-25).
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