TF Archives

Emiliana Torrini - Me, Myself And Iceland

Author: Rezo/Ghostwriter Killah
Monday, December 1, 2008

Icelandic singer/songwriter Emiliana Torrini chats to 3D’s Rezo and Ghostwriter Killah about her latest album, Armini and Me.

Emiliana Torrini has an incredibly fragile, but ethereal voice, somewhere between fellow Icelandic chanteuse Bjork and a less nasal Cyndi Lauper – if the latter dabbled in acoustic folk music instead of pop. Torrini herself has done her fair share of pop work, having co-written the Kylie single, Slow, with long-time collaborator Dan Carey, as well as recording a track for the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers soundtrack. After the breakout success of her 2005 album, Fisherman’s Woman, which featured triple j favourites Sunny Road and Heartstopper, her latest album Me and Armini was delivered mid-year under considerable anticipation.

How did you get into music-
I did a lot of jazz and blues and other things before I discovered that I could sing. My first record was a cover record with lots of songs and it was actually a really terrible record, but I did discover that I could sing. Then, based on a lot of those influences, I wrote the second record after that and it kept happening.

So you started writing your own material after you learned to sing- How did you find songwriting in the beginning-
I don’t know why, but it was always a bit of a battle for me; writing and anxieties and things like that. I started writing music very late but for the first time I’m much more at ease with what I’m doing right now so in terms of going into some sort of self destruction, well, I’m avoiding it!

You wrote some songs for Thievery Corporation quite early on, didn’t you-

I discovered my way of writing when they asked me to write two songs for them, but I kind of forgot and got lazy. When I turned up to the studio I put on the headphones and it just happened. That’s why I work so well with [Dan]. He manages to hold things together for us. We’re like a band but we don’t work that way; we are better as close friends and that’s the way we work because that allows as to remain free.

How did you approach Me and Armini compared to your previous work-

I didn’t want to ruin things from the start by having too specific an idea – we just know what we want to achieve. For me, music is about evolving and changing the way you work and being challenged. This time, Dan was so busy that he dragged me to the country for five days and it ended up being the best thing that could have happened to us. We were writing 20 hours a day and we wanted to write this album; we got into a certain head space when you jam you get into a flow and you disappear and we were very much there.

WHO: Emiliana Torrini
WHAT: Me and Armini through Rough Trade / Shock
WHEN: Out now