THE BEAUTY OF ACCIDENT Emiliana Torrini

Feeling crazy and anxious, the British
songstress lets it flow.

 

BY HAL
BIENSTOCK

 

For
someone who has been performing for nearly a decade, Emiliana Torrini has been
awfully hard to categorize. She first appeared on the scene in 1999 with a
trip-hop album, Love in the Time of
Science
. When she resurfaced in 2005 with Fisherman’s Woman, she was a folk singer. Her latest album, Me & Armini (Rough Trade/Beggars
Group), finds her swinging between pop, folk and electronica with bits of jazz
and reggae thrown in for good measure. If you’re wondering where all the
shape-shifting comes from, don’t ask Torrini. She has no idea.

 

“I don’t
take the changes as seriously as some people do,” she says. “Sometimes you just
do things. Usually when I write, I get crazy and anxious. This time, I made a
conscious decision that I would let everything out.”

 

The loose
feel of the album mirrors the atmosphere in the studio where it was recorded.
Torrini and her producer Dan Carey started rolling tape before they had even a
single idea for a song.

“We don’t
come into the studio with any plans,” she explains. “Things just appear. He
plays something, I react and it turns into a flow. We’re as surprised with what
we get as anyone else. I don’t even remember writing the song ‘Me & Armini.’
It was night, I was tired, we had drank whiskey…”

 

While this
process hasn’t made Torrini a household name yet, it did lead to a 1 hit for
Kylie Minogue, of all people: Torrini and Carey wrote her single “Slow” in a
half-hour. They also were responsible for “Gollum’s Song,” which played during
the end credits of Lord of the Rings: The
Two Towers
.

 

But pop
stardom never meant much to Torrini. As a kid, she only had one celebrity
crush, and he wasn’t exactly a teen heartthrob. “The only person I absolutely
loved growing up-like when I was nine – was Leonard Cohen,” she says. “When
everybody had Tom Cruise on their walls, I had Leonard Cohen.” 

 

 

Emiliana Torrini is about to start a three-month
European-UK tour. For dates go to her MySpace page: www.myspace.com/emilianatorrini .

 

 

[Photo
Credit: Retts Wood]

 

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