From the very start, Irish singer songwriter Lisa Hannigan's second album Passenger instantly sets out to impress. The introduction of opening track 'Home' sounds a string orchestra flanked piano, guitar and drum blend over which a gentle, warm and mellow singular brass part, perhaps a flugelhorn, is suggested. Hannigan's vocals, hauntingly delicate and smooth flow beautifully and effortlessly from chest voice to whisper over the gently lilting accompaniment beneath them; an accompaniment that steadily builds and builds throughout the track; perfectly formed.
A sparse accompaniment of percussion and bass line sounds beneath Hannigan's vocal throughout the first verse of 'A Sail' before the blend is padded out slightly by the inclusion of the rest of the band and a delicate high-pitched solo violin line. There's also a subtle suggestion of banjo in the mix maintaining Hannigan's folk roots. 'Knots' follows; a picked guitar accompanied bluesy number punctuated by picked double bass and flavoured by slushy string glissandi until around a minute in when the track really begins to stomp in the likes of the vein of KT Tunstall. This album, Passenger, particularly in its miniature orchestral arrangements, really shows a great ambition and flexibility to Hannigan's songwriting and vocal ability and further establishes her as the talented artist that she is.
Continue reading: Lisa Hannigan, Passenger Album Review