Lisa Hannigan's song "Funeral Suit," from her latest album, At Swim, displays her knack for showcasing beauty in the ordinary. The Irish singer-songwriter says the song is autobiographical, and it's all about drawing out the complexity and significance of a moment in time.
"The characters in this song — well, one of them is me, and the other is my partner," Hannigan says. "And it was very early on in our relationship, and at that sort of moment when you're not really sure how you're going to sort of come together and make sense of the slightly messy romantic roads leading to that point. I remember being in London, and he came to meet me in this little flat and he had just come from a funeral ... so it's really just about that very small moment, that slightly pivotal moment of not knowing where things might go."
In the song, a back-and-forth about where to spend the evening together takes on profound emotional weight.
"It's this very small, beautiful moment for me that was slightly at a crossroads in my life," Hannigan says. "That song sort of marks that crossroads where you do sort of make a choice, and for me, it is a pure love song."
At Swim is out now. Hear more of Hannigan's conversation with NPR's Weekend Edition at the audio link.