Torres: Thirsty Album Review | Fork

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Six years ago, Mackenzie Scott sang, “I’m just trying to spin this new skin. Known by her stage name Torres, Scott was then 24, starting a new life in New York City and still grappling with the emotional residue of her Southern Baptist upbringing. His music at the time oscillated between a whisper and a scream, with fiercely observant songs that examined love, hate, and religious hypocrisy with unfailing intensity. His most recent studio releases — 2017 Three futures and last year Silver tongue– were more sullen and restrained, but they still felt likely to explode if mixed with a drop of kerosene.

His second album in 18 months, more thirsty is exuberant and unattended – the kind of music you make when you’re no longer testing new skin and reveling in the fervent joy it brings to you. At their best, these songs overlap with the touch of such an all-consuming love that they change your worldview and make you write songs loaded with screaming choruses and conventional hooks: characteristics that have rarely been the hallmark of the job. by Torres. Scott said she felt the urge to make energizing music at a time when life seemed small. “I wanted it to sound as big as the biggest records I’ve ever heard,” the artist said recently. The result is the sleek grunge-pop album she’s headed for, awash with opulent guitar sounds and choruses that expand the word’s myriad melodic possibilities.bay-Bee. “

Recorded last fall in England, more thirsty does not dispense with the intensity of Torres’ previous work, but channels it in a more anthemic and even euphoric direction. “Before my wild bliss, who was I if not yours?”, Sings Scott on “Hug From a Dinosaur,” a mid-album highlight that augments its blissful fuzz-pop with appealing harmonies and dynamic response and synth lines. “Are you a sleepwalker?” Toggles between a shoegaze roar and a more edgy, synth-powered chorus, while “Drive Me” lights up the distortion pedal’s fun center like a lost Breeders gem. The hooks are grandiose and the arrangements full of small pockets of exuberance, like the joyful handclaps in “Hug From a Dinosaur” or the heavy squeaking guitars. siamese dream-style just before crashing into the mix on “Drive Me”. Scott seems energized by a backing group that includes co-producers Rob Ellis and Peter Miles and Portishead member Adrian Utley.

It’s a flex to make such upbeat and happy music in such a lonely and depressing year, but none of it comes with a smirk. In interviews to Silver tongueScott has been outspoken about the romantic relationship that inspired his recent songwriting. more thirsty puts that love first. In the “Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in my Head” video, Scott and his partner, visual artist Jenna Gribbon, bask in a state of domestic bliss – cooking, laughing, brushing teeth – while Scott sings that he hopes love lasts forever. She described the song as her “shameless Tim McGraw cheese ball”; it sparkles with a country-rock sparkle that feels like a wholehearted embrace of the country motif she’s flirted with since “Cowboy Guilt” in 2015. The stadium-sized hooks and the silent, loud dynamics of the song title are even more daring. “The more I drink of you, the thirstier I get, baby,” Scott moans during the final chorus as a trill trumpet intensifies the most ecstatic chorus of his career.

more thirstyThe smoother production of accommodates those oversized pop gestures, but it doesn’t always match the more intimate moments. “Big Leap,” a muted ballad about the near-fatal accident of a loved one, might have fit on one of Torres’ early records, but its spare reflection is undermined by a veil of downcast synths and backing vocals too zealous. The electronic touches are most effective in the last third of the album, which features the club’s thrilling practice “Kiss the Corners” and the totally unexpected industrial blowouts of “Keep the Devil Out”.

With his piercing contralto voice and history of working with Rob Ellis, Scott has often been compared to PJ Harvey. Like Harvey, Torres delivered a dazzling catharsis in his early records before switching to muted minimalism and icy synths. Along this trajectory, more thirsty recalls Harvey’s Stories from the city, Stories from the sea: a luxuriant, unusually joyful ensemble, ablaze with self-discovery. The two songwriters approach the subject of love with sustained wonder that such happiness is even possible. “Things that I once thought were amazing / In my life / have all happened,” Harvey sang in “Good Fortune.” “What is it about all this joy I’m feeling / And where was she before?” Asks Scott in “Hug From a Dinosaur”. This is the question at the center of more thirsty, which vibrates with the thrill of this confusion, a retort to the long-held myth that great songwriting emerges only from depression and torment.


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