Release Date: Sep 10, 2013
Record label: Rough Trade
Genre(s): Electronic, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
The fourth long-player from mercurial Icelandic singer/songwriter Emiliana Torrini, arrives five years after 2008's well-received Me and Armini. The extended break afforded Torrini the time to tour, write, and become a parent, the latter of which casts a warm and wistful patina over the nine-track Tookah (a made up word that, according to its author, means "the inner good and bad balanced"). Collaborating once again with producer Dan Carey, who brought along a significant arsenal of vintage synths and analog equipment, Torrini follows no clear musical path on Tookah, yet it all feels effortless, nuanced, and connected.
It’s now been five years since Icelandic singer Emilíana Torrini’s last album, 2008’s Me And Armini. During her time away Torrini initially struggled to create a new album as she was beset by internal pressure and confusion over how to follow up the album. Returning from the UK to her homeland as well as becoming a mother seems to have provided creative succour for the singer though and once again, in harness with long time collaborator Dan Carey, Torrini has crafted an evocative and poetic album full of deftly poised electronic folk.
Quirky production values do not a pop gem make. Expectations were extremely high for the fourth international album from Iceland’s Emiliana Torrini, and I regret to say that Tookah is the equivalent of the dreaded sophomore slump. Eight years have passed since the divine Fisherman’s Woman, and the inspiration that made that second record so glorious, has seemingly all but dissipated.
Usually an album title can reveal a lot about the record, or the intentions of the artist that made it. In this case, “Tookah” is a made-up word that “is the core of you”, says Emiliana Torrini. “The ‘you’ when you were born before life decorated you like a Christmas tree with all your baggage. It is what connects us with everyone and everything.
No rapper knows the value of a guest verse the way 2 Chainz does: appearing on other artists’ songs, and dominating, has been crucial to his ascent over the last couple of years. “Might not be your favorite artist/But your favorite artist got a verse from me,” he raps proudly on Fabolous’s ….
Tookah follows 2008’s critically acclaimed Me And Armini. Emilíana Torrini has had a varied career in pop for more than a decade. She was once a member of the 90s indie art band Gus-Gus , she wrote Kylie Minogue’s hit “Slow“ and in the credits of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers you can hear her “Gollum’s Song“. It’s this sort of varied and different music that she’s known for.