Lisa Hannigan Unveils Tour Dates
aaamusic | On 01, Dec 2011
Lisa Hannigan’s acclaimed second album, ‘Passenger’, is out now. The record has already become one of only a hand-full to knock Adele from the number 1 spot in Hannigan’s native Ireland, where it remains in the Top 10. Following extensive touring across the US – she recently performed on ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ – Lisa will also play an intimate UK tour this winter; climaxing with a Shepherds Bush Empire date on November 30. Further single plans will be announced soon.
Lisa Hannigan penned her first album in hope rather than the expectation that the wider world might find a use for it; knocked out at rehearsals in a freezing barn in the Irish countryside, ‘Sea Sew’ was produced at a friend’s studio within a fortnight. Yet this self-released (and hand-sewn) record went platinum, and was nominated for the Choice Music Prize in Ireland and the Mercury Prize in the UK. “Sea Sew was the most honest record I could make at that time,” Lisa says now, “but I look at it today, and there’s a certain sense of wanting to appear happy and confident. I wanted it to seem as though nothing bothered me.”
Produced by US legend Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Loudon Wainwright) after a hook-up in Pasadena, ‘Passenger’ is a selection of journeys, both literal and metaphorical. “Many of these songs were written while I was away from home or on the road,” Lisa recalls, “and the feeling of transience and nostalgia that this constant travelling evoked seemed to seep into every song.” The overarching theme of the record, then, is “those loves, heartbreaks, confusions and friendships that we take with us through life, over years and continents, enduring the passage of time.” And so it proves to be. ‘Paper House’, for instance, recalls the idyll days of a former love, which cannot be revisited (“Oh you know what you are to me / and you know you will always be”). The sweetly-sung ‘Little Bird’ – for which a stunning, underwater video recently went online – reveals itself to be a quietly steely defiance of an ex (“when the time comes, and the rights have been read / I think of you often, but for once I meant what I said”).
A darker and more personal outing, ‘Passenger’ proves beyond doubt that there is more to Lisa Hannigan than may have initially met the eye. From the southern, sinister stomp of first single ‘Knots’ to the rain-lashed, ivory-poundings of ‘Home’, the record is held together by Lisa’s gorgeous and emotive voice, which is finally given centre stage. Not that she’s afraid to share it – ‘O Sleep’ is a beautiful duet with Ray LaMontagne, whom she met whilst touring with Damien. The emotional landscape of the record is also captured quite literally on the album’s cover, which collates maps of the main places where the record was written (Dublin, Brooklyn, West Cork). As ever, it’s beautifully detailed and DIY effort from Hannigan, who perforated the images into paper and shot light through them – creating a stunning map of her music in the process. And whilst ‘Passenger’ is finally taking off, you sense the journey’s only just getting started.
November 19 Birmingham St Pauls
November 20 Norwich Arts Centre
November 21 York Duchess
November 23 Glasgow Oran Mor
November 25 Salford St Phillips Church
November 27 Bristol St Georges
November 28 Brighton Komedia
November 30 London Shepherds Bush Empire