Emiliana Torrini

  • Claire Pepper
  • Emiliana Torrini

Yesterday the superb Icelandic singer-songwriter Emiliana Torrini released the first single from her forthcoming album, Tookah (due from Rough Trade on September 10). It’s her first record since 2008, when she released the gorgeous Me and Armini, an effort dominated by gentle acoustic guitars. I was taken aback when I first heard today’s 12 O’Clock Track because it reminded me of 80s dance-pop, replete with the old-school synthesizer tones, but then again, Torrini’s first internationally released album from 1999, Love in the Time of Science, had a strong electronic shimmer as well. The twangy guitar ricocheting under the jacked-up beat and glassy synthesizer tones also remind me of vintage New Order, but Torrini saves it with her warm vocals and an even warmer melody. I’m also happy to report that Tookah is a wonderfully diverse album, with richly varied rhythms, instrumental textures, and vocal approaches, suggesting that the singer has recalibrated her talents and range into a lovely amalgam that draws from her entire career (she started out in the 90s as a member of the hyperactive dance-music collective Gusgus). You can check out “Speed of Dark” after the jump.