Singer/songwriter Emiliana Torrini performs with an exquisite vocalic beauty. Fisherman's Woman, Torrini's second album, is a delicate collection of twelve ephemeral and atmospheric songs that will tiptoe into your heart. The fresh-faced singer, of Italian and Icelandic decent, has a voice akin to that other Icelandic nymph, Bjork. She has also joined the cast of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to perform the enchanting "Gollum Song", wrote and toured with Thievery Corporation, and wrote a Number One Hit for Kylie Minogue in the shape of huge-selling pop smash "Slow".
The delicate, folksy Emiliana Torrini you hear on Fisherman's Woman might not be one you know if you heard her previous record, 1999's Love In The Time Of Science. Recorded with Roland Orzabel of Tears For Fears, it was a pleasant enough listen, but did little to distinguish this Italian-Icelandic chanteuse from the trip-hop competition. Fisherman's Woman, however, is quite different: debuting a rustic edge possibly prompted by the acclaim that met "Gollum's Song", a track that Torrini contributed to the score of Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, these tracks harness her gentle, honey-sweet vocals to finger-picked acoustic guitar, gentle wisps of piano, and the chime of xylophone.
The work of Nick Drake is a common reference point for music like this, but here it's certainly valid: shades of Pink Moon haunt the perimeter of tracks like "Lifesaver", simultaneously eerie and exquisite in its quiet beauty. The album highlight, meanwhile, comes with "Honeymoon Child" a track written with Bill Callahan of American lo-fi institution Smog that's as enigmatic and consequently, as strangely fascinating as anything he's ever performed himself. --Louis Pattison