Gosh, listening to Emilíana Torrini’s new song conjures up images of plastic VHS tapes strewn across a carpeted floor, and kids riding on BMX bikes in the suburban streets outside. This is a track that wouldn’t be out of place in scenes of Daniel LaRusso being chased by karate jocks wearing skeleton costumes, or redolent of some cynical passage in a Bret Easton Ellis novel concerning disenfranchised young yuppies. This is a tune Athena poster shops would have played to enhance its retail ambiance experience; a song that a hairsprayed generation grieving about the ozone layer will have kicked back to. In short: Speed of Dark is a sublime throwback to 1980s synthesised pop music.
Though all the above references are distinctly American (exception of Athena being British), Emilíana Torrini is actually Icelandic. She has been residing in the UK and putting out records since 1999, though her output hasn’t made much of a dent even in our country. Her latest single is ever so brilliant that one hopes it at least stands a chance of being labelled a one-hit-wonder, if only because it perfectly captures the mood of a surprisingly balmy British summer.
Despite the fact that Speed of Dark has invoked so much in the way of memories and images, it’s nothing but deplorable for Rough Trade records not to have issued an official music video. It may get one in the next month or so, but this is too good to sit on till then. I adore it.