Ireland’s Lisa Hannigan, a songwriter who for the last several years, has been providing her talents to other artists like Damien Rice, the Frames and Herbie Hancock, now poises herself for the spotlight with the release of her debut album, Sea Sew.
Although released in Ireland in September, Sea Sew is still new to many people in the US, the album just recently made available on iTunes and eMusic earlier this month. But for fans of Hannigan, many of them earnestly following her next venture, it couldn’t have come sooner.
Like the album’s title suggests, the sea certainly plays a prominent theme found within these songs, most of them breezy and calm, decorated in sweet piano, softly strummed acoustics and Hannigan’s low, whispery voice. The album opens with “An Ocean And A Rock,” a song melodically carried upon by a deep bass and Hannigan singing in whirling rhythm. On “Sea Song,” Hannigan metaphorically describes a small group of characters and likens them to a weekend sailing, using her familiar, hushed and soft timbre.
Things pick up more on “I Don’t Know,” breaking the still waters with a steady, light drumbeat, plucky strings and charming lyrics that illustrate Hannigan’s willingness to get involved with the object of her affection. “You don’t know if I can draw at all / Or what records I am into / If I sleep like a spoon / Or rarely at all / Or maybe you would do.”
Other highlights include “Keep It All,” with it’s heavy percussion and flurry of strings, the sweet imagery of “Pistashio,” and “Lille,” the first single to be released in her native Ireland.
Hannigan has recently accompanied Jason Mraz on his US tour and has just been signed to Dave Matthews‘ ATO Records, who is preparing to release Sea Sew in the US in January 2009. The album is currently available in the US on iTunes and via Hannigan’s official site.