Jessie Torrisi's Solo Album is Crème de la Crème
Delicate, tender arrange-ments and biting, love-wary lyrics provide the essential contrast on Jessie Torrisi's solo debut, brûler brûler. Out from behind the drums which she banged skillfully for a half-dozen NewYork hipster rock bands, Torrisi appears to have found some solace-- and she has put it to good use. The album,the most exciting debut of the year thus far, is a calm, gritty catharsis.
Stand-up bass, laid-back drums, pedal steel, and acoustic guitar make up the core of the accompaniment, but there are surprises such as the quiet trombone punctuating her phrases on "X in Texas". Especially in the lower registers of her voice, appears an extra treat-- the subtle influence of a "Union City Blue"-era Deborah Harry. This sultry nonchalance adds to the North-South dichotomy of brûler.
Lyrically, Torrisi's themes tend towards the importance of personal kinesis and its efficacy on broken relationships. She's a woman burning old polaroids of the big city, and with them the memories of lovers lost among the skyscrapers and smog.Torrisi wonders out-loud why her heart has so often shattered, but never sounds like a victim. In fact, as on "Runaway Train", she declares that she'll "keep ridin'" regardless of who else jumps onboard or remains on the platform. It's the perfect soundtrack for a one-way trip from the Five Boroughs to the Lone Star. -- A.S.
Swamp Record here