Brooklyn-via-Nashville’s Mackenzie Scott – aka TORRES – returns with a darkly mesmeric clip for album intro, and lead track, ‘Strange Hellos’. The intensely shot video, directed by Casey Pierce, mimics the track’s structure – exploding from humble beginnings into a visceral fireball of combustible rage, lurching sexuality and a passion that lingers long after the final, piercing ring of feedback has decayed in absolution.
You can watch it HERE:
Taking its visual lead from the artwork for Sprinter – the singer-songwriter’s forthcoming sophomore album, due May 18th on Partisan Records (Eagulls, John Grant, Sylvan Esso) – feels particularly appropriate here: ‘Strange Hellos’ is a perfect introduction to the catharsis at the heart of the record, a powerful exorcism of self that rarely fails to excite, intrigue and draw listeners into Scott’s at once powerful and intimate sonic world.
On May 18th, Brooklyn’s TORRES – aka Mackenzie Scott – returns with her second full-length LP, Sprinter, via Partisan Records (John Grant, Eagulls, The Dismemberment Plan, Sylvan Esso); the follow-up to the Nashville-bred songwriter’s acclaimed self-titled debut album.
Following that primal introduction to Scott’s introspective but relatable musical world, TORRES pushes herself to even noisier extremes on Sprinter: a punishing self-examination of epic spiritual and musical proportions.
Scott escaped the confines of her churning mind, however, in order to find herself by recording Sprinter in the market town of Bridport in Dorset, England; and then at the Bristol studio of Portishead’s Adrian Utley. With his guitar riffs and synthesizers lingering in the background like a lowland mist and PJ Harvey’s Robert Ellis and Ian Olliver on rhythm—the two fortuitously reuniting 23 years after the release of Dry, and in Scott’s 23rd year of living—she crafted a “space cowboy” record.
“That’s as simply as I can say it,” says Scott, who cites inspirations as diverse as Funkadelic and Nirvana, Ray Bradbury and Joan Didion. “I wanted something that very clearly stemmed from my Southern conservative roots but that sounded futuristic and space-y at the same time.”
It’s a balancing act that Scott manages to perfection across Sprinter’s nine tracks, a prime example being the record’s contagious sixth track, ‘Cowboy Guilt’, which juxtaposes the contrast of Deep South conservatism with future sounds, juxtaposing George W. Bush parodies with wearing one’s Sunday best, bouncing on a mechanically whimsical melody. On the very next track, ‘Ferris Wheel’, she’ll be building to crescendos of longing atop squalls of ambient noise and submerged guitar chords. It’s a versatile suite, sure, but one that never loses track of its focus: constantly mining the depths of self, fearlessly melding genres and, ultimately, facing down the darkness.