"I mean, I don't feel like Rihanna in the sense of having to get a number one album out. There's no pressure from record companies or any of that business."I just want make a record that I'm proud of. "I'd rather not get into it."The 33-year-old has been burned in the past - and on a very public stage. And it all comes back to her former boyfriend, Damien Rice.

And I hope that will happen next year." It's over three years since Hannigan's last album release, but thanks to her recording of Frank Sinatra's The Christmas Waltz for the An Post festive TV ad, there's fresh public demand for new material from the singer-songwriter. The two met at a concert while she was studying art history at Trinity College and made beautiful music together.

Proceeds from the song, which was sold as a single during November and December, went to the Simon Community. On the resulting album, 2002's O, Hannigan provided a sweet optimism to Rice's melancholic vulnerability.

The album sold over a half a million copies in the States and went 14 times platinum in the UK and Ireland.

The fans loved the real-life love story behind the songs.

By the time his album 9 was released in 2006, however, the romance had splintered.

Hannigan has admitted one song on Passenger, 'Little Bird', was inspired by her break-up with Rice.

The lyrics capture the end of the relationship: "When the time comes / And rights have been read / I think of you often / But for once I meant what I said." Rice was said to be heartbroken after the split and poured out his heart to Hot Press in an unusually candid interview.

"I would give away all of the music success, all the songs, and the whole experience, to still have Lisa in my life." George Hamilton It says something that an international career that lasted only seven years and ended in tragic circumstances half a century ago today should still be resonating. John Meagher It is said that 19 is one of the most impressionable of all ages to be snared by new music and that's the age I was when Oasis released their monumental debut, Definitely Maybe, in August 1994.

It's soothing and entrancing, like the soft, creaking murmur in her songs.

I find myself gliding along the ripple of her warm tones.

And then, she breaks this pensive fluidity with a startling utterance. I want to play shows again but I haven't been able to do that without a new record. practicalities that my fella lives here and had a real job.

"You know, I really don't feel like Rihanna," Hannigan says, laughing at herself. "And it's weird," she says, "I'm in London right now and I just haven't found I've written a huge amount here. "Living in the city's North East for a year-and-a-half now, Hannigan moved for 'practicalities', as she puts it. And it made more sense for me to leave Dublin because I was writing songs and I can do that anywhere." Is this the comedian she previously alluded to in past interviews?

Well of course, I say, nobody would ever deign to compare the two. "You know…" she replies, enjoying a thoughtful pause.