Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lisa Hannigan-Heaven is missing an angel

Lisa Hannigan is an incredibly gorgeous Irish singer/songwriter who recently released her solo debut album Sea Sew. Her gorgeousness doesn't stop at her looks, but extends to her achingly beautiful vocals, which finally get to move front and center. Lisa is best known as the female voice we often hear accompany Damien Rice, but after being dismissed from his band in early 2007 (while on tour in Germany, Damien decided that their professional relationship had "run its course"), Lisa entered the studio full-time to record her own album. Although a multi-instrumentalist herself, Lisa brought in a number of musicians to collaborate with, including many of the people she'd worked with while singing with Damien. What she delivered was 10 masterful songs (9 of which she wrote) showing off her knack for melodies that burrow into your brain, and spotlighting that delicately touching voice.

She has said that she wasn't trying to outright copy anyone for the sound of her album, but likes the occasionally unconventional instrumentation used by artists like Feist and Bjork. In fact, the lead single "Lille" has banjo, accordian, and xylophone alongside the guitar and bass. There are other instances like that (some excellently used background horns, strings, and vocals as well), but for the most part she sticks with a guitar or piano driven sound. It suits her voice perfectly, and I already can't wait to see what this incredibly talented young woman will give us in the future. I've linked to videos of my 3 favorite songs off the album.

"Lille": (a live performance, which is great)
(the official video, which is kinda fun)


Pistachio: (this is recorded a little loud, so you might turn down your speakers a little bit)


Cataract Moon said...

Maybe she is more talented than Damien Rice, so Damien gave her the boot! :-) Love her sound. Very Icelandic in some respects.

Kyle said...

Ha ha, I'm not even sure I know what "very Icelandic" means. Like a less crazy Bjork?

I like Damien a lot, but I really do think that people were paying more attention to Lisa, and he got tired of it. I'd heard him say before that she wasn't even supposed to be part of the band, she was just supposed to do some vocals on the album and that was it, but then everyone responded so positively to her that they decided to stay teamed up. She's got a better voice than Damien, and is obviously more photogenic, so that's why I think he eventually thought that too much focus was placed on her and not enough on him (since it was his band and his name on the marquee after all). She's said they were backstage getting ready for the show that night when he told her her services would no longer be needed, so no matter what the reason, it was still kind of a dick move.