New Noise: Nedelle Torrisi

Transport yourself on an emotional rollercoaster with Nedelle Torrisi.

Employing breezy elements of indie pop and slinky RnB sounds for her record Advice From Paradise, Nedelle Torrisi artfully crafts blissful RnB-tinted jams with phenomenal skill. Encapsulating elements from her myriad of influences, which range from Carole King to Spector and Stevie Wonder, she arranges her synth-sounds and jazz elements with effortless beauty. Maybe it’s the Californian air that drenches her sound in relaxed vibes, but she draws you in with her calm, soothing and graceful voice, keeping you hooked with her evocative and mysterious lyrics . With experience as a long-time collaborator of Sufjan Stevens and Ariel Pink, Torrisi has earned her stripes as one of Cali’s most skilled musicians. Her quirky and distinctive sound melds together all her influences into one smooth blend that is just so distinctively Torrisi. In her track “Cathartica” she explores her relationship with insomnia, and through romantic-sounding lyrics she expresses the pain of the sleepless nights we’ve all been through.

Torrisi’s record Advice From Paradise (released via Tin Angel Records) has been on quite the journey. After a trip to Russia with Torrisi’s collaborator Kenny Gilmore (who she has deemed a musical prodigy), the laptop holding all the secrets of the album was lost in the back of a taxi, and took four long months to be returned back to Torrisi. Featuring baroque-pop hero Julia Holter on backing vocals, the sprawling pop-paradise that is Advice From Paradise, will be out on 1st August.

Your dad is a priest-turned-jazz drummer and your mum is an ex-nun turned pianist – how did growing up around music influence your tastes? Do you have their same sense of rebellion?

My parents were definitely stuck in an older time period- my dad was one of those “old dads” who had me later in life. So I grew up listening to jazz and musicals, and I played classical violin. I didn’t really hear the music that other parents were showing their kids- like the Beatles and Stones and stuff. So that kind of makes me more of a nerd/weirdo than a rebel, ha ha. But maybe that’s a form of rebellion in itself.

How would you describe your sound in three words?

Smooth emotional rollercoaster.

What was it like working with Haunted Graffiti member and your old housemate Kenny Gilmore?

We still work together! We’ve recorded some songs for my next record, and we play shows together still. He’s the best! A musical prodigy, if you ask me.

What inspired your album name – “Advice From Paradise ?”

I started a love advice column with that name in 2012, and it’s still going strong. Right now it lives at www.advicefromparadise.com, but I’d like to move it to a magazine. I thought it was also a good album title, so that’s that.

Your album “Advice From Paradise” went missing in Russia for four months, what happened?

Kenny was on tour there with Haunted Graffiti and he was getting out of a taxi, and juggling many things, and he accidentally left his laptop in the backseat. He immediately realized what happened and asked his hotel to find the cab company. After a couple of weeks, they confirmed that the cab company had it, but then we needed to get it somehow. So he asked a Russian friend to pick it up and send it to us, but there’s an embargo on packages shipped from Russia to the states, so we had to wait for one of HER friends to actually travel to the states and physically take it with them. Then they shipped it from Georgia back to California. Every one of these steps took weeks, it was a real nightmare!!

You also write a love advice column – does this influence your music? How can we find happiness in love, what’s your top tip?

I like thinking about relationships and communication, so yea I definitely think the column informs the music and vice versa. I think my top tip is to love yourself before giving love to someone else. Sounds corny af, but it’s a good one. This can be a lifelong process for some people, but that’s a good goal to have because it makes for better relationships.

What themes do you like to explore in your music?

Mostly love, with some other random topics mixed in. : /

What’s the story behind your track “Cathartica”?

I’m addressing insomnia- something I’ve dealt with for a while, though not to the degree that some people do. The lyrics sound like I’m talking to a person, but I’m actually talking to sleep itself, like in this seemingly romantic line, “I’ve made so many changes to get closer to you.”

Who are your main musical influences?

Stevie Wonder is my all-time favourite. I try and listen to the best songwriters of all time, because logically it makes sense to me to go to the source. I love Bacharach/David, Carole King, Spector, lots of girl groups and soul from the 60’s, and all the writers who wrote the jazz standards, like Irving Berlin, Gershwin, etc.

Have any of the artists you’ve sung for particularly impacted upon your sound?

Maybe just Ariel Pink a bit. His music is next level.

What does making music mean to you?

Music is a way of getting in touch with your best self- crystallizing your greatest potential. And sometimes it’s not your best, but at least it can encapsulate a specific feeling or mood that you’re in. It’s about realization and communication. This isn’t easy to do. It’s a process, or a practice. Unless you’ve written something perfect like “Ode to Joy” you should probably keep trying. Lol.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m coming out with a new album later this year, and hopefully will tour in Europe and the UK in the fall!

Annabel Lunnon
New Noise: Nedelle Torrisi

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