The Wonderful Craft of Storytelling
Lisa Hannigan, perhaps best known so far for her captivating work with Damien Rice, released a solo album a while ago called Sea Sew. I did, in fact, make several attempts to get my hands on a copy, but – as is all too common – found it to be quite difficult here in Oz (sans appropriate tools such as credit cards, which I do not believe in and would be remarkably dangerous in my hands!) So I was a little more than thrilled when I checked the latest Daytrotter offerings to find that Lisa had recorded a session there.
At this point in time, I still have not heard the original versions, so unfortunately I have no basis for comparison between the album and these versions. As is common, the session contains four tracks (pay no attention to ‘Welcome to Daytrotter’, it’s a 4-second spoken intro), all of which appear on the aforementioned album. Having waited so long to hear Lisa’s solo work, coupled with the continued exposure via her work with Damien Rice (her haunting vocals on tracks like 9 Crimes and the live version of Then Go never fail to be incredibly affecting) I had very high expectations. The session does not disappoint; there is no mistaking Lisa’s voice, and these songs definitely stand on their own as fully accomplished and fantastic entries in to the fok/pop genre (or however you wish to classify them yourself!). As would be hoped - and perhaps importantly - not once did I miss or expect Damien Rice’s voice or input on these tracks.
Light and shade is well used in the songs – a bright, joyful and sweet veneer makes them at once pleasant to listen to, yet listen only a little closer and you’ll find the stories being told have a delicate yet bittersweet sense of lament to them. The more I listen to them, the more immersive I find them. Perhaps even strangely, they evoke images of a classical ballerina dancing with joy to the music of loss.
It’s worth noting that a few things have changed since I last visited Daytrotter. Along with a makeover, registration now seems to be a pre-requisite before you are able to download songs. Not really a bad thing as far as I can tell and it takes only a moment, plus you can opt to recieve their newslettter and keep up to date with all the latest sessions.
I’ll also take this opportunity to make mention of and link to a couple of other recent Daytrotter Sessions that are worth a moment to check out. They both fully deserve dedicated posts of their own rather than being tacked on at the end of someone else’s, so for that I apologise, but they are well worth a listen.
Dark Dark Dark - Great alt. folk melodies with a hauntingly ominous undertone.
Golden Ghost – A searing voice and a resonant guitar questioning as well conveying the weird and wonderful.