At first listen, Paolo Nutini seems about as Scottish as chow mein. In fact, the Paisley, Scotland, singer-songwriter can sound as indigenous to anywhere as to any genre; he vacillates from reggae backbeat and ska-prepster brass to emotive, paper-thin folk. The constant is his striking knack for pop refrains and that warbling, Damien Rice–like trill, the latter of which recently played prominently into a Puma commercial (palatable single “New Shoes”). The myriad styles suggest a worldliness far beyond his scant 22 years; whatever he has seen—or has yet to—his expanding world folds beautifully into his songs.
Tue., July 21, 8 p.m., 2009
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 8, 2009