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CD of The Week

Week of 8/02/21

    Torres - Thirstier (Merge)

    Torres’ newest album Thirstier is her most ambitious production yet. If 2020's Silver Tongue was a glass-half-full of sonic textures layered in beautiful swaths of grey, watery-green, and half-gold sunlight, then we now find Mackenzie Scott at her most powerful, beaming, and driven: at her performance-best. Thirstier is an album of the glass now full and overflowing; a pure blast of the sun reflecting through it; a prism of ease and warmth daring you to look deeper and shout beyond the walls that sometimes try to contain us or dampen our spirits.

    Within a quick two-second guitar screech, and only 12 seconds into the anthemic alt-rock of opening track, "Are You Sleepwalking?," Torres has our immediate attention by amping us up and into a singalong verse, with the lyrics, "Baby, are you sleepwalking? / Let's get to the bottom of thi-i-is..." Scott's gift on this album is one that she hopes to share and as the song morphs into a contrasting dark and twisty metallic sound, she sings, "if you're seeing things / I'm seeing it too / I'm gonna chase the answers with you / I'm gonna chase the answers with you," letting her partner and lover know that they are in this together.

    There are so many bright, joyful, and big, love-filled colorful moments on Thirstier, that when the darker moods swing in, they hit especially hard—awash either in a gut-punch quieter sonic palette (“Big Leap” and “Kiss The Corners”) or in face-pulling electronic industrial-rock and heavy guitar (“Hand In The Air” and “Keep The Devil Out”).

    On quieter moments like “Kiss The Corners,” Scott muses on a memory, “everything goes away / you remain” and in the delightfully playful “Constant Tomorrowland,” the actual muse is new astrological beginnings. The crunchy guitar and catchy handclap rhythm on the ebullient and Weezer-iffic “Hug From A Dinosaur” are particularly fun (for a song about making sure her fiancé, artist Jenna Gribbon, eats lunch when she’s been painting all day) and lead singles “Thirstier” and “Don’t Go Puttin’ Wishes In My Head,” are bonafide hits, flexing and showcasing Torres’ strength in songwriting.

    To bring the big production on these songs to life, Torres teamed up once again with producer and musician Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Marianne Faithfull, Bat For Lashes, Anna Calvi) along with co-producer Peter Miles, to complete the album at Middle Farm Studios in South Devon, England, in 2020. With mastering by Heba Kadry (Bjork, Beach House, Slowdive) as the final touch back in Brooklyn, NY, the album was bound to be a stunner! If you’re looking for your new summer jam, Torres’ Thirstier is it.

    Torres is slated to play Johnny Brenda’s on Monday, October 18th.

    Review by Carly M.

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