Tiny Desk

Lisa Hannigan

Lisa Hannigan: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/141684634/141696336" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When Irish singer Lisa Hannigan came to the NPR Music offices a few weeks ago, she not only brought along with her one of the most gorgeous voices we've heard; she was also one of the warmest guests we've welcomed.

Prior to kicking off her solo career, Hannigan made her name performing alongside Damien Rice. She just released her second album, the lush and beautiful Passenger.

Hannigan came to NPR on a rare day in which two different artists were set to perform behind the Tiny Desk, only an hour or so apart. Hannigan and her guitarist, John Smith, arrived early for her set, but rather than leave the office until it was her turn to perform, Hannigan stood quietly in the crowd, watching the first performance and graciously taking it all in.

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.

When she finished, you could almost hear the whole room sigh with contentment — and a little sadness that it was over.

Set List
  • "Knots"
  • "Little Bird"
  • "Passenger"
Credits

Michael Katzif (cameras); edited by Bob Boilen; audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Mallory Benedict/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Antonio Lizana performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 25, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Antonio Lizana

The traditions of flamenco and jazz are disparate, but in the hands of a few Spanish jazz musicians, these two worlds commingle and find common ground.

Chicano Batman performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Mar., 30, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chicano Batman

Chicano Batman comes with a sound that perfectly captures dark lounges, quinceñera dances, car shows and backyard parties.

Ljova & Kontraband perform at Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 13th 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Ljova And The Kontraband

Composer, arranger and viola player Ljova lead his Kontraband to the Tiny Desk for an eclectic swirl of Western classical, jazz, tango and Eastern European and Balkan folk music.

Sinkane performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 21, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Sinkane

You can hear a great New York jazz band in the rhythms of Sinkane, but you can also hear the influence of Bob Marley and the hypnotic repetition of Sudanese desert sounds.

Noname performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 28, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Noname

The power of language to penetrate a difficult subject, and the power of performance to share that language, are the gifts Noname brought to the Tiny Desk.

Delicate Steve performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Mar. 3, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Delicate Steve

This fierce and lyrical guitar player writes playful instrumental music led by hooky vocals — but there is no voice, just the human-like twang of a glass slide on a guitar.

Sampha performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 7, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Sampha

A Tiny Desk Concert as intimate as it gets (that's saying something). Just Sampha, a piano and three heart-wrenching songs that seem to double as coping mechanisms.

Red Baraat performs at Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 8, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Tiny Desk Special Edition: Red Baraat's Holi Celebration

The Brooklyn bhangra band come to the Tiny Desk in celebration of Holi, the Hindu festival of color that welcomes the coming of spring.

Tank And The Bangas perform perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Mar. 6, 2017. (Niki Walker/NPR) Niki Walker/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Niki Walker/NPR

Tiny Desk

Tank And The Bangas

Tank And The Bangas' victory lap around the Tiny Desk was momentous, celebratory and deeply touching, with a flair and alchemy of styles that could come from New Orleans.

Maren Morris performs perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 16, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Maren Morris

One of the newest Grammy winners stops by the Tiny Desk to share her winking, sometimes tongue-in-cheek songs.

Back To Top