Monday, December 01, 2008

Best Song Björk Never Wrote or Sang?

Cold crisp near-winter mornings, steam from your mouth, hope, diet cream soda, reggae, and Scandinavia.. These are just some of my fav-or-ite things... La la la... No, I haven't lost my last marble. I'm just ga-ga over plaintive, poignant plink-plonk of 'Me & Armini,' the delightful new single from Icelandic artist Emiliana Torrini. It manages to be both novel and familiar, interestingly soothing and contrasting chords that have never been juxtaposed quite this way. It's seamless but feels 'au naturel..' It can't help but make you feel like you're out under the snowflakes, carrying the torch for some love just out of reach....

If I haven't lost you already with that meandering, free-association description, a bit about the most unusual Emiliana... The name's not a gimmick, her Dad is Italian, her Mom, Icelandic. She grew up in Iceland's second-largest town, Kópavogur (population 30,000, that's 15% of the country, just south of Reykjavik), where her Dad owns and operates a well-known Italian restaurant. In choir at age 7, opera school at 15, song contest winner at 17... and then, in her twenties a series of respected, modestly-selling albums, and, at 29, a few Icelandic award nominations..

She turned 31 in May. How time passes... Her voice is like a more restrained, subtle Björk, and her songs, though uniquely beautiful, choose accessibility over challenge, making beauty within pop's boundaries rather than stretching them... Interestingly, she got to sing the closing soong of 'Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,' when Björk bjäcked öut (sic), 'Gollum's Song.'

Here's a lovely live acoustic performance of 'Me and Armini' at here in NYC at Fordham University's WFUV radio. It'sgreat, which is fortunate, since there is no video clip, yet, at least...

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