ROUGH TRADE RECORDS
April 21, 2005
Hi, my friends and fellow music lovers, it’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo. She’s half Icelandic and half Italian, but she has a voice that’s impossible to pigeonhole. She’s Emiliana Torrini, and here at HIP Video Promo we are thrilled to be working with Rough Trade Records to bring her latest music to you.
Those of us who fell in love with Emiliana Torrini (and to hear her sing is to be smitten for certain) through the brilliant Love In The Time Of Science have been waiting patiently for a follow-up for the past four years. Since the 2000 release of the Roland Orzabal-produced Science, Torrini has moved to London, recorded and performed “Gollum’s Song” from The Two Towers, and co-written Euro-smash “Slow” for Kylie Minogue.
Now, she steps back into the spotlight with Fisherman’s Woman – a very different record than anything she’s done previously, but one that’s completely consistent with her track record as a thoughtful, inventive, and sensitive writer. Stripping away the electronics, beat programming and trip-hop arrangements that framed the songs onLove In The Time Of Science and won Torrini comparisons to Beth Orton, she presents a set of straightforward, breathtaking folk-confessional pieces. The sound is delicate and almost painfully intimate; similar in feel to Jolie Holland’s Escondida, but with even less emotional detachment. The young singer is almost always poised and balanced, but there’s a warmth and transparency toFisherman’s Woman that’ll quickly make you feel like you’ve known Torrini all your life, and that you’re her favored confidante.
“Sunny Road”, the single, is an open letter to an old flame – a message cast into the storms. It’s a come-on of sorts, but a reserved one; like everything else about Fisherman’s Woman, it has a polite, buttoned-down appeal that’s impossible to resist. The arrangement recalls the neo-folk of Iron & Wine on Sufjan Stevens: a delicately plucked guitar figure, lightly struck bass and percussion, and a plaintive, fetching vocal performance that sounds like it’s being whispered into your ear. It’s the kind of song that makes you turn up the volume on your stereo, cozy up to the speaker, and listen as intently as you would to an overseas phone call from a friend you desperately miss.
The video for “Sunny Road” is just as charming and fragile-beautiful as the song. Directed by Ali Taylor, best known for her gorgeous short Puleng, the clip heightens the intimacy of the piece by animating objects and characters from Torrini’s own home. While making Puleng, Taylor developed a hybrid of animation and collage that imparts a luminous transparency to everyday items. No matter how much movement there is in the frame, the patterns and textures on the items don’t shift. This makes every surface take on the character of a window; when we look at an object, in some important way, Taylor makes us believe we’re looking through it. Taylor’s version of Torrini’s home is bright, soft, aching; and every element within it seems to sing a song of quiet longing.
We watch the animated Torrini – cozy with her house-cat slung around her neck like a shawl – slip her fountain pen into the ink and slowly write her letter. She seals it in a bottle, places the cat on the floor, and journeys with her white dog across the snow and through the forest to a creek. Taylor’s glades and meadows is fraught with wonder and danger, and Torrini, protected only by her faithful animals, feels in constant jeopardy. Still, she leaps logs and makes tracks through the dark forest, and does so with a look of wonder and composure that’s dazzling in its purity. When her message in a bottle gets caught on a tree branch in the creek (her dog helps her out of the jam), she covers her mouth with her mittened hands. The gesture is so earnest and human that you might skip a heartbeat – we know we all did.
We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Rough Trade to bring you this unique and compelling video. We’ve got a supply of the Emiliana Torrini CDs on hand for any on-air giveaways. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at (732) 613-1779, or email info@HIPVideoPromo.com. You can also visit www.emilianatorrini.com to find out more about this amazing new artist.
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