This is a wonderful live concert while we wait for the new album to be completed and available for us all to consume merrily.
Emiliana Torrini is a great gal for releasing EP’s with single remixes and alternate versions of the main song she’s promoting. “Unemployed in Summertime” was from her “Love in the Time of Science” and is a great summery pop tune with her usual quirks and twists.
On the EP the music video version, a “Tore Johanson Remix” is present. There’s a lot more acoustic guitar and drum snares flying flying around left, right and centre and its just as great as the original version, which was a piece of sublime pop to begin with anyway.
Also on the EP is new song “7-Up Days” is more rolling folk rock and is quite unlike almost every other song Emiliana had done before or since – possibly Fireheads is the closest. It’s quite catchy and anti-hooked at the same time with its unusual chord structure and guitar side by side with Torrini’s sweet voice making it quite an interesting sound.
The EP finishes with an acoustic version of “Tuna Fish” which is slinky and sassy with some great acoustic guitar and brass interactions (possibly a tuba, but I’m not sure). Either way, its a great version and has quickly become a favourite overnight.
It’s great that someone still releases singles that have good content on them as not many artists do these days. Although this is an old example, Torrini still does this today and I for one absolutely appreciate it.
Another video vault from Emiliana Torrini this week purely because so many of her music videos feature single versions of her album tracks and this one is no exception. “Me and Armini” is reworked into an electro-disco track and sounds completely different to the original’s ska feel. I really like it!
This weeks video vault is Emiliana Torrini’s latest MV to single Big Jumps. A good video on what must be a tight budget – showing that just making things different is a good way to make a nice video.
This month was the most busiest month to date with HPM hitting over 2,000 hits for the first time! Vienna Teng & Ayumi Hamasaki’s new releases news were top of the agenda with Winifred Phillips’ latest release and inteview coming in quickly behind. Here’s this months top 10 viewed artists.
01) Vienna Teng
02) Ayumi Hamasaki
03) Winifred Phillips
04) Charlotte Martin
05) Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
06) Hiroki Kikuta
07) Akira Yamaoka
08) Sarah Slean
09) Emiliana Torrini
10) Brendan Perry
Well in the previous post we told you what we’d bought, now its time for our top 10 countdown. There were some excellent releases this year although we’ve bought less compared to 2007, however there wasn’t one release we did not like so everyone’s a winner (except the bank account). So without further ado:
10) Ayumi Hamasaki – GUILTY
Ayu went all rock for this years album and we head banged with her. With guitar riffs popping out your years and cute verses inbetween, who couldn’t love GUILTY. Standouts are Talkin 2 Myself, GUILTY, Marionette, Together When & Mirror.
09) Son Lux – At War with Walls and Mazes
Our first of two new artists we found this year in the top 10, we were hooked by the unique nature and cold music that made us emotional inside. We look foward to more and more from Son Lux. Highlights are Break, Weapon, Wither, Tell & War.
08) Yasunori Mitsuda – Soma Bringer OST
We must confess that the reason this is 8th and maybe not higher is due to the fact we’ve not spent enough time with it but Mitsuda always produces stunning etheral and mystical albums and we love them and the soundtrack is that good we couldn’t decide our top 5. A review will be coming early next year.
07) Sarah Slean – The Baroness
Possibly the highest charting disappointment for 2008, we felt the production and song’s were a little bland but bland for Sarah is still fantastic and in time we grew to love the album. Definitely a grower. Stand outs are Euphoria, Notes From the Underground, So Many Miles, Sound of Water/Change Your Mind & Get Home.
06) Wataru Hokoyama – Afrika OST
We only reviewed it last week but it’s that good it rockets in at No.6. The lush soundscapes and beautiful melodies earn it a place as one of best orchestral VGM soundtracks in recent memory. Stand outs are Savanna, Afrika, Safari, Big Five & Base Camp
05) Akira Yamaoka – Silent Hill Zero OST
While the games may get a bit of bashing for sticking with the same formula, Akira Yamaoka delivers another serving of empty, sorrowful, eerie ambience that makes you shiver, squirm and tap your feet all at the same time. Not as immediate as some of the other soundtracks he’s done, the songs gradually fester. Stand outs are Hole in the Sky, Theme of Sabre Dance, Drowning, This Wicked End & Wrong is Right
04) Julia Marcell – It Might Like You
A complete new artist for us to discover, we loved her debut album in all its demo-esque glory and look forward to enjoying her work in the years to come. Stand outs are Carousel, Outer Space, Fear of Flying, Dancer & The Story.
03) Emiliana Torrini – Me & Armini
Completely genre hopping – being barking mad in places while utterly devastingly beautiful in others, no one can master everything all at once quite like Emiliana. Good to have you back! Stand Outs are Jungle Drum, Dead Duck, Beggar’s Prayer, Gun & Birds.
02) Alanis Morissette – Flavors of Entanglement
We had been just passers by for Alanis until this album came out. Infectious, technically excellent, emotionally charged and completely compelling, this has quickly become our English album for 2008. Stand outs: Straitjacket, Tapes, Not as We, Limbo No More and Orchid
01) Utada Hikaru – Heart Station
Utada has yet to make a duff record and this, her fifth Japanese album (sixth overall) continues to show her as a natural talent. Stand out tracks are Stay Gold, Heart Station, Beautiful World, Take 5 & the bitter sweet finale Niji-iro Bus.
Congrats to Utada Hikaru!
A new stats fest at the start of each month begins as we give you the top 10 artists viewed at HPM. Of course it will change with their releases but its always very interesting:
01) Emiliana Torrini
02) Akira Yamaoka
03) Yasunori Mitsuda
04) Joe Hisaishi
05) Utada Hikaru
06) Pierre Esteve & Stephane Picq
07) Hiroki Kikuta
08) Sarah Slean
09) Lisa Gerrard
10) Hitoshi Sakimoto
So an interesting spread of artists this month!
Continuing our Emiliana Torrini week, we have the virtually unseen music video of “Unemployed in Summertime” from her excellent debut album Love In The Time of Science. This features a single remix of the song which must have been available on the single. Bounce is all I can say!
Emiliana Torrini reaches her third album which goes some way to bridging the vast gap of styles between the previous two. The lush electronic pop of “Love in the Time of Science” is the exact opposite of “Fisherman’s Womans” completely acoustic tones. “Me and Armini” takes the acoustic elements and embellishes them with more rockier riffs that almost harks back to some of her earlier work from Iceland only albums.
“Fireheads” shows the step on from Fisherman’s Woman with bass and electric acoustic guitars bleeding across the speakers to Torrini’s silky vocals. It’s very clear that this time round its a band effort. Maybe this makes the songs more catchy and upbeat especailly with the lovely chorus on offer with this track.
“Me and Armini” is brings in a little electronica but with it comes a ska beat! This kind of song is a completely new direction and works extremely well with the fast beats and slow vocals. You cannot help but tap your feet to the groove.
“Birds” follows as the acoustic number with delicate chords and even more delicate vocals. The chords give it a country albeit slightly clumsy feel but it still flows beautifully. Then gradually layers of instruments are built up upon until it has its final chorus. Nice.
“Heard It All Before” is another faster paced song with a definite ska influence too. Infused with slight eastern European flavours too this song is finger clicking and hand clapping good (just like the percussion). It’s great to see Emiliana break out into a real show stopping frenzy. I can see this being a create show closer.
“Ha Ha” is a darker number and is really the first darker number we’ve had this record. The chorus is inspired in juxtaposition to the music. This makes the excellent single “Big Jumps” work so well. The quirky lyrics matched with the acoustic poppy tones really make for a great sing-along to this anti anthem. “Big Jumps” deserves some serious radio play and would do well as a radio staple.
“Jungle Drum” will be the second single and that definitely figures. A frantic high speed mad scatting bop along – this is the most fun song I’ve heard in months and although it may not appeal to as many people as “Big Jumps”, this is my personal favourite and really sums up the album perfectly. A lady in her element crossing the genres and mastering them all. Fantastic.
“Hold Heart” is an acoustic song with a slight Parisian feel to it with Emiliana howling “No tears don’t you come out” to heart wrenching effect. The song is the shortest on the album and I wished it was longer.
This is followed by “Gun” which is probably the most alternative of the songs. Reminding me a little of The Sugar Cubes in terms of production, it features echoing bass guitars complete with all the background noises and lots of reverb to Emiliana’s voice. However the song is quite repetitive on face value however if you listen carefully it slowly twists up the atmosphere to something a little eerie.
“Beggar’s Prayer” is the slow downtrodden bluesy number which really works well in terms of ambience and the vocal prayer section is absolutely stunning and yet completely underplayed – which is really what makes it.
“Dead Duck” is the most electronic the album gets. Cutting various acoustic sounds together and mashing them over drums and keyboard sounds. There’s some abstract lyrics throughout and this really makes for a refreshing change. Those wanting more old style Torrini will find probably their favourite here. It reminds me a little of Sigur Ros but also of some of Imogen Heap’s early b-side works where the music constantly changes. An excellent instrumental.
“Bleeder” closes the album with a warm ballad full of strings, pianos and guitars.
So without a doubt this a tour de force. Emiliana touches on so many different acoustic genres and breezes through them with such ease and joy, you never know what’s coming next. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to an album that genuinely surprises me with where it goes next. What’s more is that there’s no weak link. An absolutely must buy.
Emiliana is finally back. Three songs from “Me and Armini” are on her myspace page entitled “Gun”, “Big Jumps” and “Me and Armini”.
“Gun” reminds me of her oldest work and bit like the Sugarcubes only Torrinied! It’s mainly vocal and bass guitar with select percussive noises and is quite a random song to release as a taster track. It’s got a under current of rage and anger with a backstabbing twist to it we’ve not seen seen “Telepathy”. It’s not got much progression but keeps you hooked on the one bass line for nearly 6 minutes which is an achievement.
“Big Jump” is more like her most recent album. Acoustic guitar, quirkly lyrics but with a happy high chorus. Think “Sunny Road” getting it together with “Unemployed At Summertime” and you’re 90% of the way there. This kind of song really suits Emi’s voice with its playful yet meaningful ways. No wonder this is to be the single!
Finally “Me and Armini” has a ska beat and sound to it and definitely aims at the summer crowd. With a laid back approach and swirling chords this is definitely single material.
Definitely returning to the pop roots although much more acoustic, this looks set to be a great album. Emiliana is also holding two UK dates shown below and the albums out 8th September:
|Bristol UK||Trinity Hall|
|London UK||St Giles Church|
Icelandic wonder Emiliana Torrini will be releasing her latest studio album entitled “Me and Armini” this year, rumoured for the 8th of September. Emiliana’s styles are very different and apparently this album will be a mixture of the acoustic “Fisherman’s Woman” and the more electronic “Love in the Time of Science”. Excellent news!
Now how about reissuing “Merman” and her previous Iceland only albums please? Pretty please?
This weeks Live Vault is a TV performance from the delicate Emiliana Torrini. Best known (criminally) for singing the closing track on Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Many don’t know that she’s an accomplished solo artists with two fantastic albums widely available and other not so easy to find albums previously. This TV performance takes 3 songs from her most recent album “Fisherman’s Woman” – a fantastic acoustic album.