At Swim is the third solo album by Irish musician Lisa Hannigan, who previously also worked with Damien Rice.

This is a wonderful record packed full of truly beautiful melodies, harmonies and lyrics, and subtle but clear and powerful instrumentation and arrangements. This album is obviously very carefully crafted. It’s mainly acoustic instrumentation – piano, violin, cello, bass, drums – but with sprinkling of electronics. There’s many obvious influences – folk, country, jazz – but it’s still very contemporary. Lisa Hannigan’s voice is clear and she has a beautiful way of bending the melodies right to their limit.

Apparently, Lisa Hannigan was going through a period of writer’s block before being contacted by Aaron Dessner of the band The National who suggested that they should work together on new material, the result being this album.

At Swim is full of gem after gem. The balance of everything is just right. It is one of my favourite albums this year so far and is likely to remain there. I can’t stop listening to it!

Favourite tracks: “Fall”, “Prayer For The Dying”, “Snow”, “Lo”, “Undertow”, “Ora”, “We, The Drowned”, “Anahorish”, “Tender”, “Funeral Suite”, “Barton” – that’s the whole album!

Related Reviews

4th February 2016

Emma Pollock
In Search of Harperfield

An intelligent alternative acoustic folky kind of feel with some nice strings and piano arrangements.

Read More →

5th June 2016

Joana Serrat
Cross the Verge

Slide guitars and banjos a plenty, but not clichéd or old fashioned, just really catchy modern tunes.

Read More →

5th June 2016

Françoiz Breut
Zoo

A lovely slice of "Nouvelle Chanson" - that classic French sound but with a more modern pop style.

Read More →