Sunday, November 29, 2009

She Waits Her Turn/She Waits Her Time

"Lisa Hannigan's breathy vocals...often shadow Rice as he sings, like remembered or imagined counterparts in an unending internal conversation."
-Rolling Stone

As a fan of Irish singer Damien Rice, I quickly became a fan of the young woman that sang on many if his songs, Lisa Hannigan. Like many I suspect, I was immediately looking up what other music this woman, with one of the most enjoyable voices I ever heard, was responsible for. Turned out, nothing.

Despite being a multi-instrumentalist, she was Damien Rice's female vocalist and that was really about it. I found I was looking forward to new Damien Rice music mostly to hear new stuff from Lisa Hannigan. Then Rice did Hannigan, and maybe us a giant favor. He fired her.

Ten minutes before a show in Germany.

Although there has never been any explanation behind the firing, Hannigan cites, or maybe assumes, creative differences.

"Looking back with some healthy hindsight, I can say it was the best thing that ever happened to me." -Lisa Hannigan

There are also reports Rice quickly regretted his decision and asked Hannigan to come back. I think he realized, he might find another female vocalist to fill Hannigan's role, but he will never be able to replace her.

For me, Hannigan is that artist you want to share with friends, but not everyone. I have the selfish desire to have her stay a bit under the radar; to stay just a bit of a secret. A secret I feel special for being in on.

"It's that moment where you see the turn of somebody's elbow or a book peeking out of someone's bag on the train," Hannigan says. "And — I do this anyway — I sort of construct a person behind it, invariably positive. And I think that song is about that moment, where you're sort of full of hope about someone you really have no idea about." -Lisa Hannigan
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