It's easy to emotionally connect with Glen Hansard's music. His work in The Swell Season and The Frames cut to the emotional core of issues like heartbreak and loss while still keeping the feelings universal.
"Philander," Hansard's first single from his upcoming debut solo album, Rhythm and Repose, depicts the end results of a broken relationship. In the course of four minutes, Hansard bounces through the stages of grief. He denies that his love ever left, singing, "She never said goodbye / Only see you later," then quickly flips to anger, spitting out, "Come on you little actor." He eventually accepts what's happened, and hints that he's to blame: "I'm always gonna stay/ here with my philander."
For the song's video, Hansard collaborated with director Conor Masterson, who's photographed Hansard and the Swell Season previously. The video leaves everything up to the viewer's interpretation: Hansard wanders around a small London flat arranging the objects in a room that's seen better days. There are shots of outdated machines. It feels like we have missed all the action and are only seeing the emotional aftermath.
In an email, Masterson said that he wanted to keep the video simple and leave the meaning up to people's imaginations:
One room, one light and no fancy camera moves. Because Glen is such a natural performer we tried to make the set as real as possible so we propped with a mixture of found objects man-made and natural and built it in the corner of a yard of an old house in London that has a rich music hall history.
The shoot itself was very creative and we chiseled away at the shot list often shooting only one take before moving on and discarding anything that felt too fussy. My overall desire was to let the music and the lack of action allow the imagination to breathe."
Hansard's Rhythm and Repose will be out June 19th.