Lisa Hannigan – At Swim

Irish singer-songwriter Hannigan’s 3rd solo album is a subtle, reserved collection of folk songs and it’s quietly spellbinding.

While her previous albums have been things of undeniable beauty, their charm came largely from a certain DIY whimsy which has been toned down here. Instead Hannigan, after a period of writer’s block and homesickness, has made an at times devastatingly sombre yet staggering beautiful album.

The National’s Aaron Dessner reached across the ocean to offer his assistence and to produce the album and it seems his contribution has been to pull everything back and put Hannigan’s voice front and centre. With her voice multi-tracked throughout there’s a staggering intimacy to these songs, whether singing in a husky lower register or effortlessly letting her vocals soar she is on fine vocal form throughout, while her voice is enhanced by the most subtle of piano and guitar arrangements.

 Lisa is playing live in Oxford at the O2 Academy on 16th October, tickets available in-store

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