By: Suzie Hicks
Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner kicked off Boston Calling today at 7:00 sharp. With a quiet, ethereal song equipped with all of the fixings of a classic slow-indie performance–including (but not limited to) shy smiles, guitar fingering, and breathy choruses.
Hannigan is an Irish-born singer/songwriter who has been performing mainly in the US and UK since 2001, and is a multi-instrument artist with two albums under her belt (‘Sea Sewn’ and ‘Passenger’). She began her musical career as a member of Damien Rice’s band. Her harmonic counterpart is Aaron Dessner, a prominent producer and contributor of The National, as well as the curator of the wonderful festival, Boston Calling. The two have performed together in multiple venues over the past two years, and have a record coming out in the next few months, as which she noted in between two songs. The album is titled ‘At Swim’ and is expected to be released on August 19, 2016. It was evident that the two shared a musical chemistry onstage that was emulated through their easygoing demeanor while playing, which was quite the exciting sight to see from the audience.
Besides a few brief guitar solos, the performance mainly showcased repetitive instrumentals, and easy but catchy harmonies. The show in total was light, but was easily appreciated by the entire crowd. Hannigan and Dessner sounded uniquely Irish, especially in a haunting A Cappella number Lisa and her backup singer performed in the middle of the set. This song got a great amount of positive feedback, which was shown by the immense applause and shouting. In all, while a lovely sounding performance, it was a slow start to the festival, but promptly amped up the audience for the next band to perform.