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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Lisa Hannigan's debut album "Sea Sew" is an charming confection although its difficult to see why adding live versions of songs on the original "Sea Sew" makes this record a "Deluxe" version. I would have liked to see some other new material from the excellent Lisa Hannigan or at least some of the cover versions she has recorded such as Joni Mitchell's "Willy" or Roy Orbison's "Love hurts" Yet to be fair the live versions are generally solid and if the key purpose is to remind you what a little gem this album is then they serve their purpose. Lisa Hannigan was as pivotal to "O" as Damien Rice's guitar. The "Blowers daughter" is in my mind as much her song as his and her contribution to the some of the best songs on "9" was immense.

"Sea Sew" has a quiet but huge following and its is delicious album packed with delightful and precious songs like "Ocean and Rock", "I don't Know", "Lille", the truly gorgeous "Venn diagram" and the harder "Sea Song". The album manages to skilfully blend beauty with whimsy without degenerating into sentimentality or tweeness. The most ample demonstration of this is in the albums towering highlight "Teeth" where Hannigan spits out the lyric and the raw emotion erupts in this song particularly on the repeated chorus where she states "And I had a swing/When my salt was my own/I'd my teeth bared for battle/Till love lost made me dull". It is brilliant songwriting.

Granted when viewed in its totality "Sea Sew" is lighter than anything she has done with Damien Rice and yet I have to say I listen to it much more than "9". Along with Laura Marling and Theo Gilmore she is proof of an amazing renaissance of British/Irish female singer songwriters. More importantly she is ample evidence that the judges of the Mercury Prize maintain an impeccable record as the most consistent bunch of tone deaf idiots currently listening to modern music.
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on 12 June 2009
I originally thought of getting this album as something I thought my girlfriend might like. However, one sunny afternoon with wireless headphones in the garden later... I've found myself with an unexpected addiction to this record, and a welcome early contender for my favourite album of the year.

Lisa Hannigan has such a light touch, impeccable ear for a tune and an absolutely gorgeous voice that bury these pieces of music deep in your subconscious almost immediately. I guess this would be classified as folk, but there's such a lot going on here that labels just seem superfluous. Just appreciate it for what it is.

Particular favourites of mine are "Ocean and a Rock", "Pistacchio", "Lille", "Sea Song" [which is the only song on the album that sounds anything like a Damien Rice song - but is still good], and "Keep It All". These songs I think will prove to be timeless, both musically and lyrically - since Lisa seems to have avoided any semblance of modern faddery altogether - no Amy Winehouse vocal inflections, no Regina Spektor quirkiness, no Lily Allen "hip"-ness, and no Duffy pretences. The lyrics are abstract and intriguing, and the performances just have a real integrity.

I certainly didn't expect to enjoy this record so much, but I'm not complaining ... I'm not about to start listening to Damien Rice, either.
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on 8 December 2008
Knowing Lisa's singing from Damien Rice and The Cake Sale, anyone could have guessed that her debut album would be a fairly low key affair and so it is. If anything I was a little disappointed by the first couple of listens, but the album will take ahold of you sooner or later! Some tracks more than others - Ocean and a Rock, Venn Diagram and Keep It All are the standouts for me - but really the whole album is great. Going to see her play in a couple of days...can't wait.
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on 30 December 2008
Gorgeous - Simply Gorgeous

Beautiful Songs played by a beautiful singer and very talented band.
Catch the videos on U Tube if you want proof.
Lisa Hannigan has the voice of an angel - almost a cross between Bjork and Susan Vega. Shame some of the songs did not make it to the CD - Blurry (see U Tube) to name but one.

Do a Google of Lisa Hannigan to see her web site for tour info.

Will this be the best album of 2009? - certainly a contender
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on 18 October 2009
I've listened Sea Sew driven by the preferences of customers who have bought cd of Florence and the Machine, Red House Painters, John Martyn, Jackie Leven, and other acustic - folk rock musicians.
I think that this debut is really a little precious jewel that you learn to appreciate after few listenings, because the arrangements are excellent bun not immediate.
A lot of beautiful passages are "hidden" at the first listenings. The tone is calm, relaxed, and the musicians never try to use special effects to catch the attention preferring to mantain a balance in the execution.
I give the album 4 stars, it means a excellent album, because 5 stars in my scale of value is a masterpiece.
Sea Sew is not a masterpiece, it's "only" one of the best album of 2008, probably one of the most understimated.
I hope that Lisa Hannigan could produce a masterpiece the next time.
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on 14 November 2008
This album by Lisa Hannigan (known to many as 'that beautiful voice that made Damian Rice's career')is a must buy. It has been out in Ireland for a few months and it is so good, such beautiful songs, mostly original, lovely arrangements, and that voice! Quirky, Irish, folksy but modern. Hard to pick out a favourite track although the last one, Lille, is superb. If you haven't got it, order a handful and give to friends, this is truely wonderful!
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on 19 November 2008
This album was such a find. By the second play I was addicted; it is now an essential on my daily ipod. Lisa's beautiful voice is powerful yet never overplayed. The songs are magical, understated with imaginative arrangements and clever lyrics, gorgeous melodies with great hooks. There are no weak songs on this album- every song is simple lovely.

I do think putting this album down as folk limits it's audience- it reminds me more of the better American college indie. Shame the album artwork isn't shown- even that is good.

Discover and enjoy!
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on 19 May 2009
A truly wonderful album. I caught Lisa on TV last week for the first time and immediately bought the album. I've played Ocean and a Rock about 50 times already and still get goosebumps as the various lyrical and musical threads combine on the last verse & chorus - pure heaven.

As a DJ I listen to LOTS of music of all styles and genres as part of my work and I can honestly say that this album has shot into my Top 10 of all time without a shadow of a doubt.
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on 25 January 2010
I want to call this album beautiful and calming and serene, but if I do, then more people may hear the voice and maybe she'll become a world superstar and then we won't be able to go to the smaller venues and listen to the more powerful and beautiful voice than that which comes over on the record.
I want to be able to say I've listened to this album a million times, but only because it's stuck in the cd player in the car....and NOT because I've had a hard day at work and this music calms me down. Oh no!
Buy and listen to this album at your peril. It does not contain any parental warnings on it's cover which, by the way, made me want to re-acquaint myself with knitting- that in itself is a warning.
This record contains only good music. Be aware.
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on 21 May 2014
I won't go through the whole album, analysing it track by track because, 1) I probably won't do it justice, and, 2) I'll likely be going over old ground, covered by other reviewers. What I will do, is simply say that this is one of my all-time favourite albums and never fails to fill me with a multitude of emotions, no matter how many times I listen.

Lisa Hannigan has written an album which possesses great depth and beauty, and her lyrics and vocals float through the soundscape like a warm summer's breeze. A real rarity for me, finding an album that is as captivating and fresh on the hundredth listen, as it was on the first.

I absolutely adore every track (no surprises there) and there really are no weak-points or 'filler', to speak of. If I had to name a favourite track, I'd go for 'Teeth' - but that's splitting very fine hairs indeed!

Give this album a try - please! I highly doubt you will regret it :)
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