On June 8, the first track off of Lisa Hannigan’s new album At Swim, was released on NPR music. “Prayer for the Dying” is described by NPR music “…showcases Hannigan’s considerable gift for slow-burning melancholy. Setting her lustrous voice against a backdrop of piano, slide guitar and swooning backing vocals, the song sways sweetly for four and a half languid, hypnotic minutes.”
At Swim, which is to be released on August 19 via ATO Records, is Hannigan’s second full-length album following, Passenger, which she toured for 2 years nation-wide in support of. Hannigan has not only had a solo career, for seven years she sang with Damien Rice. She also sang with Herbie Hancock, along with the Chieftains and Toumani Diabate.
Hannigan originally had a hard time writing the music for her new album. At the time she was living in London, and was away from her support system and “usual anchors and points of reference.” Her writer’s block was broken when randomly she received and email from The Nationalist guitarist, Aaron Dessner.
Working with Dessner and getting back into the collaborative groove, allowed Hannigan to look at her life in London much differently. She began recording in Hudson, NY with Dessner on guitar, Logan Coale on bass, and Ross Turner on drums. The following weeks allowed Dessner to produce the record at his home studio.
“He didn’t want it to sound too pretty,” Hannigan says. “He wanted it to have a texture rather than have big arcing melodies.” Dessner wanted to give the music texture because At Swim is partially about homesickness and isolation, along with love.
2. Prayer for the Dying
7. We, The Drowned
10. Funeral Suit