Torres revels in a high energy, twisting and turning sound that feeds off all forms of love on her new album, Thirstier.
Revolting against the gray drag of time, Thirstier, the new album from Mackenzie Scott (aka Torres) is a fine example of how to change up your sound in the right way. Featuring a bigger atmosphere than anything we’ve heard from her before, the record is all about conjuring joy, feeling anything, and reveling in everything love has to offer.
Starting with Are You Sleepwalking? shows off Scott’s change in sound; bigger brasher and littered with hints of 90s indie and grunge. This is all pushed to the forefront by fuzzy guitars and layers of dirty pop mentality that thrive in the all-encompassing atmosphere. Those big guitars intermittently drop out to reveal Scott’s vocals in more detail amongst heavy beats and playful layers.
The opener is followed by the wonderful lead single, Don’t Go Putting Wishes in My Head, with glistening, synthy undertones and vocal flows reminiscent of The Killers but with more emotion and dexterity. This is backed by lyrics of love that knows no bounds, allowing Scott to show a vulnerability that really comes alive: “I know promising forever’s not your thing, but now if you don’t want me to go dreaming don’t spend your mornings and your evenings in my bed”.
As the album rolls onwards, you realise an underlying theme of love in all its forms. It’s played with in inviting and exuberant ways throughout which is a change in direction from previous work and gives an added dimension. Drive Me has a bolshy rhythm and heavy guitar that PJ Harvey would be proud of with Scott’s vocals are on fine form, building up to a bright chorus with country undertones. Lyrics of lightness are then delivered into a passion that builds as Scott sings: “I can see that you’ve got needs so lover, introduce me”. Hug From a Dinosaur is more playful as the title suggests, this time leaning on a spiritual love with a Weezer-esque sound hits hard in the chorus.
WIth a lot going on throughout the record, Scott still manages to create an overall sound, even if she diverts in other directions at times before bringing it all back home. Kiss the Corners allows her to show off a more 80s influenced electropop mentality and try different vocal techniques in a changed atmosphere. Hand in the Air then reverts back to that 90s rock sound with up-to-date production techniques rounding the rough edges against settled synths. The record finishes with the enigmatic Keep the Devil Out, a blues beat-driven closer that explodes with manic off-beat riffs intermittently rising and falling in a clash of ideas and full-throttled menace.
Thirstier from Torres is a bold step into a new direction for the artist which pays off well. From powerful guitars and bombastic vocals to feathered touches and sultry synths, the record skips from idea to idea in interesting ways but always abiding by the underlying themes of love. It’s an album we all need right now.