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Lisa Hannigan - Passenger

  by Lisa Torem

published: 11 / 10 / 2011

Lisa Hannigan - Passenger
Label: Hoop Records
Format: CD


Evocative and heartfelt second solo album from Dublin-based singer-songwriter, Lisa Hannigan

Singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan says it well: “I never used to feel comfortable calling myself a songwriter. I just used to think of myself as a singer. But now, I allow myself that luxury.” Hannigan’s artistry as a vocalist and songwriter have developed immensely since her lovely, Mercury and Choice Music Prize nominated debut, 'Sea Sew'was released. That album also featured her fragile, lilting vocals;grass roots instrumentals, and a penchant for all that is sea worthy, but in her second release, ‘Passenger’ she travels to more sophisticated places. Hannigan now admits that: “I wanted it to seem as though nothing bothered me." Consequently, she did not delve below the surface then as much as she has done now. It is as though she is now examining life’s challenges through a microscope, rather than simply a rear view mirror. ‘Paper House’ chronicles the wistful remains of unrequited love, while the ambiguity of ‘Little Bird’ even touches on some anger. ‘Knots’ is a wild, pull-no-punches parade of sound. To that end, instruments across the board, such as the harmonium, provide subtle texture, as do erratic passages of percussion. Hannigan spent seven years singing with Damien Rice. But, once out of his shadow, she really found her true self by going solo and developing confidence in her own wealth of stories. 'Passenger', produced by John Henry (Ani DiFranco, Solomon Burke, Loudon Wainwright III), was developed while Hannigan was living out of a suitcase, experiencing lonely nights and the excitement of new friends, tastes and locales. To that end, a variety of moods occur throughout the album. Hannigan brashly explores heartbreak and freedom; at times her breathy voice becomes a jazzy torch. Nothing is rushed; instead a sense of time and space embraces many of her themes. The process involved spending casual evenings with her musical colleagues; often recording in an old rural house, and the final product was done within weeks. Hannigan chalks that up to the talents of Henry who made sure all involved connected in a meaningful way, and that the standard studio pressures would not interfere. Lisa Hannigan’s inner beauty virtually shines through every track on 'Passenger'. Fragile yet saucy, honest yet subtle…she has become a skilled artisan.

Track Listing:-
1 Home
2 A Sail
3 Knots
4 What'll I Do
5 O Sleep
6 Paper House
7 Little Bird
8 Passenger
9 Safe Travels, (Don't Die)
10 Nowhere To Go

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Interview (2011)
Lisa Hannigan - Interview
Critically-acclaimed Dublin-born singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan speaks to Lisa Torem about her new second solo album, 'Passenger', and the influence of traditional Irish music on her songwriting

live reviews

O2 Academy, Oxford, 16/10/2016
Lisa Hannigan - O2 Academy, Oxford, 16/10/2016
Nick Dent-Robinson explains why he feels Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan is a one-off entertainer after watching her perform a gig at the O2 Academy in Oxford

digital downloads


Sea Sew (2009)
Celebratory-in-tone debut solo album from Lisa Hannigan, the former songwriting partner of Damien Rice

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