11 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A former member of Damien Rice’s band, Lisa Hannigan moved into the spotlight with her 2009 Mercury-nominated solo debut, Sea Sew. As good as that release is, Passenger is even better. It’s not radically different, but it’s more dynamic and colorful, revealing a broader range of sophisticated folk-pop. Featuring intricate chamber arrangements and subtle instrumental touches, the songs are understated and performed with restraint. “A Sail”, “A Knot”, and “What’ll I Do” are catchy and buoyant. “Paper House” is shimmering and ethereal. And the title track, “Little Bird”, and “O Sleep” (featuring vocals by Ray Lamontagne) are rich and intimate. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, Hannigan plays guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and banjo here, and she’s joined by a strong band on drums, keyboards, trumpet, fiddle, and bass along with producer Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Loudon Wainwright III, Elvis Costello). Hannigan’s soothing, seductive voice is simply gorgeous, and her quirky delivery complements her dreamy melodies well.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A former member of Damien Rice’s band, Lisa Hannigan moved into the spotlight with her 2009 Mercury-nominated solo debut, Sea Sew. As good as that release is, Passenger is even better. It’s not radically different, but it’s more dynamic and colorful, revealing a broader range of sophisticated folk-pop. Featuring intricate chamber arrangements and subtle instrumental touches, the songs are understated and performed with restraint. “A Sail”, “A Knot”, and “What’ll I Do” are catchy and buoyant. “Paper House” is shimmering and ethereal. And the title track, “Little Bird”, and “O Sleep” (featuring vocals by Ray Lamontagne) are rich and intimate. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, Hannigan plays guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and banjo here, and she’s joined by a strong band on drums, keyboards, trumpet, fiddle, and bass along with producer Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Loudon Wainwright III, Elvis Costello). Hannigan’s soothing, seductive voice is simply gorgeous, and her quirky delivery complements her dreamy melodies well.

TITLE TIME
4:58
3:34
3:31
2:50
3:26
4:16
4:00
4:18
3:22
4:06
4:35

About Lisa Hannigan

Before beginning her solo career, Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan made a name for herself as the vocal partner of fellow countryman Damien Rice. In addition to lending her sultry vocals to the albums O and 9, she also toured with Rice, bolstering his music with her multi-instrumental talents on the guitar, keyboards, and drums. Hannigan sometimes performed her own songs, traditional tunes, or the occasional cover at the shows, as well.

On March 26, 2007, Rice informed Hannigan that his professional relationship with her was over, citing his opinion that the partnership "has run its creative course." Undaunted, Hannigan began preparing her own folk songs for the studio, releasing demos on her MySpace page as they trickled out. In 2008, she hit the road as the opener for Jason Mraz's U.S. and Canadian tour, and her debut solo effort, Sea Sew, was released in Ireland later that year, with an American release following in early 2009. The album went double platinum in Hannigan's homeland, where her whimsical folk-pop and hushed, soft-spoken vocal delivery appealed to critics and consumers alike. She explored similar territory on her Joe Henry-produced, 2011 sophomore release, Passenger, which again drew accolades both at home and abroad. After touring for two years in support of the album, Hannigan experienced a lengthy bout of writer's block. She returned in 2016 with a new album, At Swim, which was produced by the National's Aaron Dessner. ~ James Christopher Monger

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