Paolo Nutini

The 22-year-old singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini confounds most expectations, from his name on up. Despite its Mediterranean sound, Nutini hails from Paisley, Scotland, though his father's side of the family is Italian, a few generations back. And despite his early shaggy, longhaired image, Nutini is not yet another dour rocker from his rainy homeland. His 2006 debut album, These Streets — released when he was just 19 — displayed a precocious knack for riding the "pop" side of indie-pop. "New Shoes," the breakout single from that album and Nutini's biggest U.S. hit to date, was an inescapable, hummable slice of cheerful acoustic-propelled soul. Not that he was incapable of seriousness, either: Deeper cuts on These Streets tackled heavier autobiographical matter with a relatively rough, bluesy sound — like "Jenny, Don't Be Hasty," a first-person account of a failed affair with an older woman. While Nutini is a bona fide big star in the UK, he's still working on conquering the States and touring smaller venues in support of his latest full-length, Sunny Side Up. This one sees him turning in some almost Van Morrison-style vocal performances, rubbed with the textures of classic American R&B and folk.
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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo