Music Review

Torres – What an Enormous Room (Merge Records)

todayFebruary 1, 2024 18

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By – Kristi Houk

Recommended if you like: Squirrel Flower,  St. Vincent, Talking Heads

Myth #5,946: Songwriting is best when the songwriter is depressed.

Mackenzie Scott who performs as Torres busts this myth wide open with a healthy dose of anxiety on her new album, What an Enormous Room released on Merge Records. She seems to be wrestling with imposter syndrome and checking herself when she falls down that path.

If you follow Scott’s Instagram page, @torreslovesyou, it’s obvious that she is living her best life. Married to New York based painter Jenna Gribbon. Scott is often the subject of Gribbon’s work. 

This reflection on newfound contentment is evident on low key, Elliot Smith vibed track, “I Got the Fear.” With just an acoustic guitar and some steady drum programming Scott muses ”My winter blues have turned yellow.” “Worry’s got me by the throat/I keep my feet to the road.” There’s that isolation creeping in but she knows better and it shows on the follow up and first single off the album, “Wake to Flowers.” A more direct, driving song that finds Scott in full falsetto. It’s as if she’s soaring above the music on a physical and mental high. She allows her voice to linger longer. She’s ready to stay here a while. “But the morning sun that lights your cheek/the way you smile with your teeth.” These seemingly mundane visu

Musically, much of the album is heavy on the synths, drum and bass mostly played by Scott with help from fellow songwriter, Sarah Jaffe and TJ Allen. It’s equal parts Peter Gabriel, St. Vincent and Talking Heads. She’s quite the shredder on guitar and knows where she’s headed. You can be happy AND be an artist. We need you more than ever, Torres. 

Stand out tacks: “Wake to Flowers,” “I Got the Fear,” “Jerk into Joy”

 

Written by: jamric

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