Rough Trade Records – 2005 – 39 minutes

The name Emiliana Torrini could be familiar to fans of Kylie Minogue as she penned her recent hit 'Slow', but her own music is a far more haunting proposition. She wrote and sang the ghostly 'Gollum's Song' for the soundtrack to 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' and her second album, 'Fisherman's Woman', is a tranquil, but stirring collection that's emotion-filled, despite its profound quietness.

You get the impression listening to this, that each song is an extension of the one that went before. They're very much like thoughts that Torrini is having as she sits watching the world go by and as such, it often feels as though she's having a conversation with some unseen figure, throwing out random comments about people and how things are for her.

Tracks like 'Lifesaver', 'Today Has Been OK' and 'Heartstopper' highlight this trait and show off Torrini's gift for storytelling and the detail she infuses her lyrics with. Other songs are almost like letters to absent friends. 'SunnyRoad' and 'At Least it Was' are evocative and atmospheric, filled with regret and loss.

The album is musically sparse. Torrini uses her lilting voice to create most of the musical effects and acoustic guitars do the rest. The result is a very intimate sound that has traces of folk, blues and jazz running through it.

The only upbeat songs are 'SunnyRoad' and 'Heartstopper', but with such a wealth of imagery flickering through your mind as you listen, it's a pleasure to just sit back and allow 'Fisherman's Woman' to unfold.

Katie Moten

Tracklisting: Nothing Brings Me Down – SunnyRoad – Snow – Lifesaver – Honeymoon Child – Today Has Been OK – Nexttime Around – Heartstopper – At Least it Was – Fisherman's Woman – Thinking Out Loud – Serenade