London WC2 Borderline

...this unsung globetrotter is still a secret worth discovering....

It’s a full house for Torrini, the unsung princess of multinational future-folk. With few supporters in the media, this Italian-Icelandic chanteuse seems to be seeping into the national psyche by stealth. Slowly but surely.

Which is just how she plays. A small and freckled thing dwarfed by her acoustic guitar, Torrini‘s Bjvrkishness is everyone’s initial impression, chiefly because of her fractured whoops and hiccuping vowels. This is no slur, and certainly more original than copying Lennon, Lydon or Marley. She hardly goes out of her way to avoid comparisons either, and even plays with former Sugarcubes drummer Siggi Baldursson, but in truth her style is far more quirk-free than the crinkle-nosed space-pop empress. And tonight, she is organic to a fault, strumming muted laments and pastel-shaded sea shanties.

It’s still the singles which stand out and bring this sedate set alive. ‘To Be Free’ is sensual and lustrous, a restless tumble and splash into bluesy introspection, while current release ‘Easy’ sounds bare and goosepimpled without its warm studio-tronic production. Torrini‘s encore is tear-stained Jacques Brel standard ‘If You Go Away’. By now her spectrum of emotions has run from lightly miffed to achingly desolate, which seems enough for this politely enraptured crowd. These tender tunes could do with a dash more agony and ecstasy before they shine outside a folk-club atmosphere. But even so, this unsung globetrotter is still a secret worth discovering.