Lisa hannigan damien rice dating
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I am quite relieved when Lisa Hannigan turns up on time and in the right place to meet me in a pub near Oxford Street.One of the Irish musician’s new songs, Funeral Suit, includes the line: “From Bermondsey or to Shoreditch, I said I don’t know which is which”.
You may still know her best as the swooning female voice on Damien Rice’s first two albums, O and 9, and as the earner of the biggest cheers at his concerts when she stepped forward to take her turn at the microphone.
Rice, her former boyfriend, sacked her in 2007 with the brusque announcement: “After much thought and discussion Damien has decided that his professional relationship with Lisa Hannigan has run its creative course.” In 2014, when he released his first Hannigan-free album, he said: “I don’t think the two of us will work together again but there’s no reason why we couldn’t play live together again some time.” When we chat today Hannigan, who has never been less than diplomatic about the relationship, speaks positively about her time in Rice’s band.
She dropped out of a French and art history degree at Trinity College, Dublin, to join him on the road. I was an international woman of mystery, and it was great! I got to sing and learn about that but I had none of the stressful bits. I just didn’t really talk.” Nowadays she’s a warm, interested conversationalist, conspiratorial as we decide whether it’s late enough in the afternoon for an alcoholic drink (it is) and settling on a glass of red wine when it turns out that there’s no Guinness in the pub.
She spent time as an interviewer herself, presenting a podcast, Soundings, with Irish broadcaster Dylan Haskins.
The most recent episode last summer saw the pair talking to comic actress Sharon Horgan and triple-amputee war photographer Giles Duley.
Having already proved that she can succeed alone as a singer-songwriter — her debut album, Sea Sew, was Mercury-nominated in 2009, while the follow-up, Passenger, was an Irish number one in 2011 — now she has a new musical collaborator in her life.
Aaron Dessner, guitarist with Ohio indie giants The National and producer of acts including Sharon Van Etten and Local Natives, sent her an unsolicited email in January last year, asking if she’d like to collaborate.
She can’t remember the subject header, she laughs, when I ask.
“We know some of the same people but we’d never met. He started sending me all these pieces of music, I started singing on them and that was the turning point.” Up to then she’d been in a funk attempting to follow Passenger.
I’ve actually never asked him what the instigation was. “When we finished the last record we toured it for ages, a long old time.
Opportunities came up to do gigs and I always said yes.
Then I came back and had to write, and everything had slightly changed.