• Paradise (aka Nedelle Torrisi)

I came late to singer Nedelle Torrisi (who made a string of solo albums in the early aughts), falling for her lovely voice only in 2007 after she had formed Cryptacize with Chris Cohen. I remain a big fan of both of their albums, and was saddened when to learn that when they split as a couple, they also split as a band. Earlier this year Cohen released a fine solo album called Overgrown Path (Captured Tracks)—I chose the tune “Optimist High” from the record as a 12 O’Clock Track a couple of months ago—and now Torrisi has put out her first solo work since the break-up under the moniker Paradise. I have to admit that I was taken aback at first by how slick “Psychic Returns” is, larded as it is with neo-80s synthesizer textures and Prince sonic trademarks from that time, but once I got used to the plastic qualities I fell hard for the song itself. Torrisi sings about heartbreak with sweet, gentle articulation that goes down plenty smooth, but it’s not until the excellent chorus that everything seems to take shape—the Linn drums kick in and the melody gains a backbone to reinforce it’s hooky elegance. Below you can check out the video for “Psychic Returns,” which hasn’t grown on me like the song has, but you can’t win ’em all. The song will turn up on Paradise’s forthcoming debut album. Torrisi will roll into town on December 15 as part of Sufjan Stevens’ annual Christmas show he dubs, “The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice,” which I won’t hold against her.