31 October 2011

My New Obsession

I've been a longtime fan, but intermittent viewer of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. That is, until recently. So impressed with the newest editions, I've spent countless minutes (possibly hours) pursuing cultural diversification and intellectual enrichment (i.e. procrastination [useful and knowledge-enhancing, but work-displacing nonetheless]) via the Tiny Desk Concert archives. There are some real gems and you can expect to see a few appearing on the blog in the future. For the time being, I present a few auspicious minutes with the wonderful musical stylings of Lisa Hannigan. Wow, what a melodious voice. If ever there were a siren song (in the best, most complimentary sense of the term, minus the danger of shipwreck), Hannigan's voice is one par with the great voices.  NPR's Bob Boilen provides a glowing introduction to Hannigan's performance. Coming from a man who sees innumerable performances, his words of appreciation carry a lot of clout.
As soon as her turn to perform arrived, Hannigan hopped up, barely able to contain a smile, onto the stool behind the Tiny Desk and immediately barreled into the bright ukulele tune "Knots" with virtually no sound check or warm-up. Her voice was astonishing as it bounded from hushed fragility to startling power; if I hadn't seen her sitting nearby only moments before, I never would have believed that she could sing like that with so little preparation. It was a mesmerizing performance, with Hannigan alternately whispering and howling her way through her songs, her eyes closed and her body rocking to the music.
Enjoy. I don't see how it can be any other way.

If you liked this performance, be sure to check out more from NPR Music. Lisa Hannigan has two outstanding solo albums (Sea Saw and Passenger) and has collaborated with Damien Rice on a number of songs (including Unplayed Piano, the majority of the tracks on O, and the unforgettable lead vocals on "9 Crimes"). Buy them now. All of them! You'll be forever thankful.