Me and Armini
With a name like Emiliani Torrini, you wouldn’t expect this artist to be Icelandic, but she is (her father is Italian and her mother is from Iceland). There’s something about much of Torrini’s music that exudes a kind of remote, chilly, and moody vibe. Torrini’s voice is consistently fragile, hardly more than a mere whisper at times; she recalls Bon Iver more than she does her female Icelandic compatriot Bjork. With a simple, unadorned arrangement of spare guitars, airy drumming, and delicate vocal expression, Torrini flutters between Bon Iver’s school of alone-in-the-woods, sublimely heartachey, quasi-folk (“Fireheads,” “Birds,” “Beggar’s Prayer”), a slight jazzy tone (“Ha Ha,” “Hold Heart”), and a downtempo, Portishead-flavored hip-ness (“Heard it all Before,” “Gun,” “Dead Duck”). Her breathless, sometimes child-like intonation could get tiresome, were it not for bolder, playful tracks that pick up the mood and the pace: “Me and Armini” is a lulling, reggae rhythm tune; “Big Jumps” is a sweetly innocent, buoyant confection; and “Jungle Drum” is a mischievous, gleeful little number that will have you dancing around the kitchen.