Lisa Hannigan: Stalking the Muse

After a decade of non-stop creativity, Lisa Hannigan was forced to confront the dreaded "blank page."


About Lisa Hannigan

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan performs “Undertow” on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” Watch the performance here: http://bit.ly/2lKTale. The track appears on her album At Swim, which continues to receive critical praise: 

At Swim is a triumph of Hannigan’s understated versatility...” —NPR Music
“Lisa Hannigan’s graceful melodies champion At Swim.” —Associated Press
“[At Swim] finds her exploring new sonic territory.” —The Wall Street Journal
“…Hannigan’s soaring vocals never falter.” —The Guardian
“Hannigan doesn’t shy away from the challenge, turning At Swim into one of the most wrenching, well-crafted albums of the year.” —Newsday

After touring in support of her last album, Passenger, for nearly two years, Hannigan began writing songs for her new record. Although she struggled to write new material while living in London, away from home and from what she describes as her “usual anchors and points of reference,” Hannigan had a breakthrough when she got an email out of the blue from Aaron Dessner—guitarist in The National and producer of Dark Was the Night and records by Sharon Van Etten, This is the Kit, and Frightened Rabbit, among others. Working with Dessner and rediscovering the collaborative spirit she’d missed in Dublin enabled Hannigan to see her life in London in a different light. At Swim is in part about homesickness and isolation as well as about love.

Hannigan’s 2008 Mercury Prize-nominated debut Sea Sew was released to widespread acclaim—The Los Angeles Times described the music as “charmingly idiosyncratic,” while People Magazine called it, “dreamy.” In addition to her solo work, Hannigan sang with Damien Rice for seven years, touring worldwide. She contributed significantly to Rice’s platinum-selling debut O and critically lauded follow-up 9. She also sang with the legendary Herbie Hancock on a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin” for his Imagine Project alongside the Chieftains and Toumani Diabaté. 

In 2015, Hannigan made her film debut, providing the voice for a Selkie in the Oscar-nominated Irish animation Song of the Sea. Since then, she’s contributed a cover of “Danny Boy” to the TV series Fargo, as well as vocals for Steve Price’s scores for Gravity—which won an Oscar—and Fury.

(from Sacks & Co.)