A versatile Irish folk-pop singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and occasional voice actor, Lisa Hannigan made a name for herself as the vocal partner of fellow countryman Damien Rice before setting out on her own in 2008 with the release of her Mercury Prize-nominated debut Sea Sew. Hannigan continued to earn accolades for subsequent outings like Passenger (2011) and At Swim (2016), the latter of which stayed true to her folksy roots while establishing a more expansive pop sound.
Hannigan met Rice in 2001 at a concert in Dublin, and was soon asked to join the ex-Juniper frontman's solo band. In addition to lending her sultry vocals to the albums O and 9, she bolstered 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 songs for the studio, releasing demos online 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, and a stint lending voicing the character Blue Diamond in the popular American animated television series Steven Universe, Hannigan experienced a lengthy bout of writer's block. She returned in 2016 with a new album, the evocative and more pop-oriented At Swim, which was produced by the National's Aaron Dessner. In 2019 Hannigan released her first concert album, Live in Dublin, which was recorded at the National Concert Hall with the contemporary classical orchestra s t a r g a z e.
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