While everyone seems to be getting laid off these days, Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan got the boot from her day job two years ago, and it had nothing to do with the economy.
“It’s all a blur now,” said Hannigan, who’s still reluctant to share the details of why she left her gig as Damian Rice’s partner in crime. For more than half a decade the 27-year-old sang on many of Rice’s tunes and held the title of lead female vocalist in his band. Then, seemingly without warning, Hannigan was let go because, as Rice said, their relationship had “run it’s creative course.”
“It just came to an end,” she says, adding the two haven’t spoken to each other since. Instead of throwing in the towel, Hannigan decided it was time she release a solo album — she had a couple songs already, but she really got to work once her and Rice parted ways.
“I had few songs from over the years and notebooks of ideas,” she said. “But it took me a while to get everything together. I’m not a songwriter who bashes songs out. I’m not particularly good at playing anything.”
She’s being modest of course. Her debut disc Sea Sew is a delicate collection of indie folk tunes layered with rich harmonies, hushed vocals and complex instrumentation.
“It is my name so I have to stand by the sound and the song,” she said. “But it was hard to stand up and say this is what I want, and this is how I want a part to be played. That took a little while to be comfortable with.”
Lisa Hannigan plays
Toronto – The Mod Club Theatre on March 1