The Next Sounds: Lisa Hannigan
By: Sierra Drucker
The remarkably talented Irish folkstress Lisa Hannigan has just released her sophomore full length Passenger (ATO). The Mercury Prize nominee teamed up with famed producer Joe Henry (Ani DiFranco, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples, and more) to create this masterful work. Enjoy a taste with the first single, “Knots.”
From start to finish, this album is pure delight – poetry plays out through pointed lyrics and warm compositions filled with weathered strings, ukelele, piano, and that undeniable voice. The emotional draw of her music begs comparison to artists like Fiona Apple, Katie Herzig, and Feist. She pushes the realm of folk music without even trying, or so it seems.
Her career began when she paired up with fellow Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice. When things went sour, she decided to focus on a solo career, releasing her debut album Sea Sew in 2008. Her talents were soon discovered and met with critical acclaim and chart success. Though she isn’t quite a household name yet, I imagine her sophomore album will pick up even more heat, catapulting her further into the spotlight.
While I would recommend listening to the entire album (which you can actually stream for a short period via KCRW), if I had to recommend one more song, it would be “O, Sleep”. Pair her up with the gut-wrenching vocals of the incomparable Ray LaMontagne, and you get a song that can make a grown man curl into fetal position with a blankie.
Hannigan is currently on a North American tour. Be sure to catch her when she’s in your neck of the woods. You can check the dates out HERE.