Emiliana Torrini – Tookah
Emilíana Torrini could be a megastar. She could put on extravagant tours with a dozen costume changes per night. She could be the headline act at The Grammys. She could be on the front cover of V Magazine. After all, she co-wrote ‘Slow’ for Kylie Minogue. She was on The Lord Of The Rings soundtrack album. She’s Icelandic, for goodness sake. But no. She seems happy to return to her homeland, have 602 followers on Twitter, and put out one great, but still slightly under-the-radar album after another. This album has an even more understated feel than some of her previous outings. The best songs are the ones that are the most intimate and closely-miked. The stand-out is ‘Autumn Song’. It’s the story of a female visitor to the family: “I thought she couldn’t do us any harm”, she sings, “He never liked that kind of charm, But how could he resist when her dress let in the autumn sun”. Even when she picks up the pace a little, she’s usually happy to avoid musical excess. ‘Animal Games’ has a great hook, but never tries be a huge hit. ‘When Fever Breaks’ is the least conventional, beginning amorphously and coming together only towards the end. It’s deliciously funky throughout but never poppy. Only on ‘Speed Of Dark’ does she give in to the temptation to smother the song in synths and an anonymous backbeat. It’s unremarkable and, naturally, the first single. Emilíana Torrini should be a megastar. With such beautiful songs and wonderful production, she should shift millions of units. Hell, she should even make money from Spotify. But that’s not the world she’s chosen. She seems happy with her choice. And we are definitely the better for it.