Album review: Lisa Hannigan - Passenger

Finding more assured lyrical and musical footing on this second solo outing, the former Damien Rice singer is onto a beautiful winner here.

For those who missed her Mercury-nominated debut Sea Sew, Hannigan is best known as Damien Rice’s breathy foil.

But it feels very much as if it’s with her sophomore record that the singer-songwriter has found her own voice.

And, except for the ill-advised, wobbly theatrics on opener Home, it’s an enchanting voice of vintage velvet, wrapped around evocative dioramas and simple, compelling music.

New single Knots touches on the kind of pounding folk Laura Marling has cornered in recent years, but delivers a rousing final third that’ll have every barkeep slapping their thighs in joy.

The snappy percussion of What’ll I Do is followed by O Sleep’s cosy, textured duet, and accordion sighs and finger-picked strings pack A Sail with a pleasantly downcast atmosphere. Jump on board!

4 stars