Lisa Hannigan – At Swim

Lisa Hannigan – At Swim

Lisahanniganatswim

When you knit the cover of your first album, anything thereafter can only be less twee. So it is with Lisa Hannigan. This is her third solo release and it’s a much more low-key, downbeat, maudlin affair than either of its predecessors. A central theme is one of loss. Of friends, for sure. ‘Prayer For The Dying’ sets a sombre but beautiful tone in that regard. Of sleep. ‘Lo’ is an ode to insomnia. But, perhaps most of all, of a certain way of viewing the world. “We advance in tender increments, Between the past and future tense”. Central to the album is Aaron Dessner of The National. He’s at least partly responsible for its very realisation, helping Hannigan break through a bad case of writer’s block. But it’s as producer that he once again shines, moving her away from the irritatingly simplistic song structure of some of her previous work. Here, tracks like ‘Ora’ and ‘We, The Drowned’ are given the space in which to express themselves. And the sound is very different too. No more so than on the closer, ‘Barton’, with its gorgeous mix of ambient sounds and skittish percussion. This is a much more rounded and rewarding creation than both Sea Sew and Passenger. Some of the lines are truly wondrous. “Tender is a kiss, while the dancers dip and twist”. And the voice never loses its wispy appeal. It’s a difficult album to love, but certainly one to admire and, more importantly, to listen to. Repeatedly.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s