Hansard recently released his new album, a collection of songs about life getting closer to completion than commencement, aptly titled All That Was East Is West Of Me Now.
A record that is noisy and meditative as well as sprawling and hypnotic, it is Hansard’s most rollicking record since Burn the Maps-era The Frames, and won four-star reviews from Mojo and Record Collector.
The recording of All That Was East Is West of Me Now came together in the weeks that followed Hansard’s November 2022 hometown residency and was produced by long time co-conspirator David Odlum (Tinariwen, Sam Smith) at his home studio on the outskirts of Dublin. The process of recording, as of songwriting, “must be an intuitive leap into what feels right…” says Hansard, “When it feels right, I usually run from it, mix it quickly before it collapses.” For the bulk of the record, Hansard was joined in the studio by fellow Frames Joseph Doyle, Graham Hopkins, Ruth O’Mahony Brady, Rob Bochnik and honorary Frame Earl Harvin. Strings came courtesy from fellow live contributors Gareth Quinn Redmond, Kate Ellis, Paula Hughes, Katie O’Connor and Una O’Kane.
Built off the primal energy of The Frames’ Fitzcarraldo and meditative rock leanings of For the Birds as well as the powerfully understated punch of 2015’s Didn’t He Ramble and 2019’s This Wild Willing’s foray into electronics and strings, All That Was East… feels completely unlike anything Hansard has ever done.