A few days before her album began streaming on NPR, Mackenzie Scott tweeted a complaint about an overused, somewhat vague genre of music: “Can anybody define “indie”? What does “indie” mean to you? Would love to see it eradicated from the vernacular/it’s gross like ‘hipster.'”
Though she’s just 24, the singer who records and performs as Torres creates music that defies her age and easy categorization (“indie” definitely doesn’t do it justice). The Georgia native has a voice that effortlessly projects raw emotion, whether subdued on sparser tracks or unleashed alongside guitar contributed by Portishead’s Adrian Utley.
The contrast between her songs —and even within them— makes each aspect of her sound all the more impressive, and Scott wastes no time showing it off. She begins the first track, “Strange Hellos,” with a barely audible whisper, before breaking into a full-fledged, tortured ballad: “I was all for being real/ But if I don’t believe, then no one will,” she repeats, with more and more angst. It’s a hell of a way to start an album filled with frustration, longing, relationships, and sense of self.
It’s also an album that struggles with faith. Like others in the throes of adulthood, she’s shrugging off religion, or at least questioning an upbringing that revolves around it. As she said in a recent interview, “Rock and roll ended my religion… rock and roll is my new religion!” But, maybe not indie?
You can check out the video for “Sprinter” below, and stream the album here.
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