Me and Armini
Since Emilíana Torrini hails from Iceland, it would be natural to expect similarities to her country’s most successful musician, Björk. To the ears of a Chico music fan, another artist echoes strongly: singer-songwriter Erin Lizardo. Both have powerful yet ethereal voices; both eschew rote pop hooks in their moody, alternative-folk compositions. Torrini’s reach goes far beyond her stomping grounds, thanks to major-label distribution through Rough Trade Records. Me and Armini, her third international release after three Icelandic albums, reunites her with producer Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, Kylie Minogue). The songs came together in less than three weeks, and they’re decidedly distinct. The title track, for instance, layers lyrics about obsessive love over a lilting melody. “Ha Ha” is more raw in sound and word: “Anger steaming up your glasses / you’ve been holding parties all your life … did you hear me laughing in your head / when I saw you stuck in a rut again?” Powerful stuff, all the way around.