LONDON, UK (Top40 Charts/ Lisa Hannigan Official Website) - Acclaimed Irish singer Lisa Hannigan's debut album 'Sea Sew' was today shortlisted for the 2009 Barclaycard Mercury Prize - Britain's most prestigious musical honour.
The achievement is even more remarkable because the album - Hannigan's first release since parting with Damien Rice's band - was entirely self-released through her own label, Hoop Recordings.
Released in Ireland in late 2008 and in the UK in April 2009, the album has already achieved Platinum sales status in Ireland and been nominated for both Best Irish Album at the Meteor Music Awards and the Choice Music Prize. Hannigan was also awarded 'Best Debut Album', 'Best Irish Album', 'Best Irish Track' and 'Best Female' in the 2009 Hot Press Reader Poll.
Hannigan's first UK solo show took place at London's St Johns Church in December 2008.
thelondonpaper proclaimed, 'A glorious London debut ahead of what promises to be one of the great solo debut albums of 2009?, while the Daily Telegraph wrote, 'Stunning. Hannigan's music leaves a lasting impression.' The FT declared, 'A beaming presence' and The Times simply put, 'Mesmerising'.
Since then, Hannigan has performed a sold-out tour of the UK, performed at Glastonbury and Latitude, and sold out a further two London shows at the Union Chapel and Shepherds Bush Empire.
Described by the New York Times as 'exquisitely ethereal', Hannigan's chance meeting with singer-songwriter Damien Rice led to a long period of collaboration and development that included Rice's critically acclaimed albums O and 9. When this collaboration came to an end after seven years, Hannigan was left with a notebook of songs and the desire and confidence to put them onto a record.
Gathering a talented band of friends together, including Tom Osander on drums, Shane Fitzsimons on double bass and Donagh Molloy on trumpet, they got to work. Starting early in the morning, the band spent fourteen days down in the basement of Dublin's Cauldron Studios, playing glockenspiels and harmoniums, violins and organs, trumpets and guitars, and sang until they were hoarse. Hannigan mixed the album in London, while her mother Frances began knitting in preparation for the cover artwork. After spending a happy month stitching the lyrics onto rough cotton, and picking out the many references to the sea in the lyrics, Hannigan decided to call the album 'Sea Sew'.
The winner of the 2009 Barclaycard Mercury Prize will be announced at the awards show on Tuesday, 8 September 2009.