Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan is set to release her new live album recorded at Dublin’s National Concert Hall with contemporary-classical orchestra s t a r g a z e, founded by conductor André de Ridder. This collaboration sees Lisa’s folk/pop songs played with new orchestral ensemble arrangements and has taken her to the stages of London’s Barbican and Dublin’s National Concert Hall. Live in Dublin serves as a treat for old and new fans of Hannigan, capturing her mesmerising shows across a discography-spanning 14- tracks, including new track ‘Bookmark’.
Love is a key theme on the album, as is nature. The songs lend themselves perfectly to an orchestral setting, bringing out the emotional undertones at the heart of the tracks. The bird-like flutes of ‘Ora’ and the stirring violins which create an atmosphere of sad beauty on ‘Prayer for the Dying’ are particularly beautiful. There’s a lovely change in pace on tracks like ‘Anahorish’ which is sung acapella; ‘Nowhere to Go’ which showcases Hannigan’s slow, plaintive voice as comforting and emotional, before the urgency of following track ‘Lo’, which breaks through with its persistent heartbeat-like rhythms.
Other highlights are the haunting atmospherics on ‘We the Drowned’, which will move you to tears, before the fairytale chimes of ‘Lille’ enchant with their ethereal undertones. Overall, the orchestra swell out the songs, stirring the emotions, adding to the soundscape created by Hannigan’s poetic lyrics. The song is the conductor, her voice is the key instrument. The album closes with ‘Fall’, where the orchestra quiets down and we are sung out with just Hannigans’s vocal harmonies, and guitar.
If you are new to Lisa Hannigan’s songs, this is a wonderful album to discover her gems. Now you will hear them transformed, bringing their inherent dramas and colours to the fore, amidst a backdrop of sublime keys, affecting strings and perfect percussion.
Live In Dublin by Lisa Hannigan & s t a r g a z e is due for release May 31st on digital platforms, vinyl and CD via Play It Again Sam.
Photo Credit: Gerry Sugrue
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