After the gorgeous electric landscapes of Emiliana Torrini's debut album, I was eagerly anticipating the release of new material, so when I got my hands on a promo copy of the new album, I couldn't wait to find out what direction the music had taken.
If there is only one album you buy this year, please please let it be this. Emiliana returns with the most captivating folk album of recent times, combining her delicate but powerful vocals with impossibly good melodies, perfect musical arrangements and a set of songs that place her as surely one of the best artists around.
In all honesty there is not a bad song on this album, and tracks such as "Sunnyroad", the sweet and enchanting first single, "Today Has Been OK" and the outstanding "At Least It Was" display Emiliana's talents. Title track "Fisherman's Woman" takes the listener far away from the city and time of science of her debut, and into a simple, more homely world where melancholy and sweetness are balances effortlessly to create an album that is both warming and heartbreaking.
At recent gigs she performed most of these songs and on stage in an intimate setting, the power of the music is completely engulfing, and it is with this new sound that Emiliana seems completely at home. You get the feeling that she has put everything into this album, and when you're listening to the songs that you really get to know her inside out. What is most striking about this album is its lack of pretence. It sounds so completely natural, free from the self-consciousness and artifice that colours so many other artists. A beautifully honest and human album, and as a nice surprise, even more spellbinding than her debut album.