Upon hearing Lisa Hannigan sing for the first time, her warm voice can sound at once familiar and inviting. The Mercury Prize-nominated artist is often acknowledged for her six-year collaboration with Damien Rice — especially on his album O — and for her solo debut, Sea Sew. But it's her alluring, Irish-accented voice that has endeared fans to her folk music, which brims with comfortable ukulele melodies and unpredictable wit.
Hannigan's most recent album is Passenger, which she wrote across Dublin, Brooklyn and West Cork, Ireland. Many of its songs, including the title track, travel through notions of home and feelings of nostalgia. Hannigan slides effortlessly between different styles of singing, prompting a comparison to Miles Davis' trumpet-playing and phrasing from Herbie Hancock.
In this interview with World Cafe's Michaela Majoun, Hannigan discusses the locations that have inspired the songs on Passenger, and describes how she's drawn inspiration for her music from jazz and opera.