Lisa Hannigan and Stargaze: Live in Dublin – a musical match made in the heavens

The singer’s delicate songs are enhanced by sumptuous orchestral arrangements

Live in Dublin
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Artist: Lisa Hannigan & Stargaze
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: PIAS

Irish audiences will need no introduction to Lisa Hannigan; the Kildare woman is by now a stalwart of the indie scene, with three solo albums to her name and a long stint with Damien Rice before that. However familiar you may be with her songs, you've never heard them quite like this.

Hannigan crossed paths with the conductor of contemporary classical orchestra Stargaze in 2015, and her ensuing regular collaborations with them led to the recording of a full live album in Dublin last October. The delicacy of her back catalogue is both enhanced and expanded by these sumptuous arrangements, from the swoonsome Prayer for the Dying to the tender, hesitant Ora, the soft songbird shudder of her voice blending beautifully with the orchestration.

The addition of strings softens the electronic judder of Barton, while the gently majestic sweep of Little Bird could soundtrack a classic Disney montage. There's a new song, too: the soft parps of brass on Bookmark break into a quirky, cantering torch song.

More new material would be nice, but, until then, this will tide you over very nicely.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times