Oct 26, 2009

Lisa Hannigan

A friend invited me to see David Gray at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. It was kind of a last minute thing, so I hadn't given much thought to who would be opening for him, and so was surprised and delighted to find Lisa Hannigan playing when we got to our seats.
If you haven't heard of Lisa Hannigan, she's an amazingly talented Irish female vocalist, known best for accompanying her countryman, Damien Rice, for seven years, and then being abruptly fired as the band was about to go onstage at a gig in Germany. Hannigan was no doubt reared on a healthy dose of "not one door closes but another opens" philosophy, because she immediately set to work on her own songs and album.

The result is Sea Sew, a poetic, charming, and quirky album, from a singer and songwriter with a considerable craft (she wrote and performed all of the album's songs and then knit and sewed the cover and liner notes herself, too!)

Handsewn liner notes by Lisa Hannigan

In a recent interview on NPR, Hannigan said of the album's sound:
"When we started recording, I wanted it to sound like rusty custard...Well, I wouldn't recommend eating it — it sounds quite dangerous. But I wanted that sort of rusty, creaky sound — and just that warm-and-creaminess as well."
I've been thoroughly enjoying this warm custardy album for a while now at home, but
I found out Saturday night that it does not quite capture the raw beauty of Hannigan's voice live. I'd highly recommend seeing her live. I couldn't find any video from Saturday night's show, but you can get a good feel for the charming Hannigan live from this clip, filmed earlier this year in Toronto:



Lisa's album: Sea Sew
Lisa's website: lisahannigan.ie

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