Leaving listeners thirsty for more
Indie rocker TORRES (Mackenzie Scott) recently released her fifth album, Thirstier. This release comes just a year and a half after her previous album, Silver Tongue. Even with such a short period between releases, the growth in her sound is clear. Thirstier is unguarded, oozing with honesty. It features such a wide range of musical elements that demonstrates Scott’s admirable attention to detail and lyrics that take the listener like never before.
The album opens with the track, “Are You Sleepwalking?.” This song features every element that makes this album great; heavy distortion, ear-catching lyrics and, most interestingly, the back and forth between alternative and electronic music. The verse of this song has a very distinct indie rock sound to it, made up mostly of heavy guitars with lots of feedback. In contrast, the chorus utilizes lots of electronic instruments and switches the drums from a basic alternative beat to a dance beat. The push and pull of the two parts are sweetly clever and keeps the listener on their toes, anticipating what’s next to come. While Scott teases with electronic music in “Are You Sleepwalking?,” she runs full force with it in “Kiss the Corners.” The entire verse is just vocals and a dance beat. Synths and harmonies join in for the chorus to make a hypnotizing swell of sounds. The song continues to build with more and more musical elements, turning into pure pop paradise.
“Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head” highlights the lyrical abilities of TORRES. It opens with the lyric “if we’re calling off the funeral/ then I’m calling for a hitching,” sucking the listener in from the very beginning. “Every man wants his name on a mountain” is a particularly striking lyric only to be followed by another devastating line: “how many thought they’d be the one to keep your love?” All throughout the track, TORRES drops little bombs such as these, exploding in the hearts of the listener each time. The song ends just as potently as it began, “if you don’t want me believing that/ you’re never gonna leave me darling/ don’t go putting wishes/ don’t go putting wishes/ don’t go putting wishes in my head.”
“Big Leap” is one of the more gentle yet haunting songs off the album. The guitar is eerie and is only heightened by the lyrics: “I was on my way to see a seer on 14th/ the morning you feel thirty feet/ your body broken on concrete.” Each line manages to devastate even further than the last, “I hounded you to stay on the ground/ it’ll haunt me forever/ the way you came down.” TORRES does an amazing job of making one feel every line as if it was one’s own experience, making this song incredibly beautiful and painful all at once. The title track, “Thirstier,” is yet another example of how skillful this artist is with lyrics. The song demands attention just in the first line with the words “you want someone to worship you.” The verse is paired with a simple and airy guitar melody, which picks up for the chorus, transforming into a much more intense rock sound. “The more of you I drink, the thirstier I get.” With lyrics like this, the intense, raw emotion of this song is overflowing and makes one want to hit repeat on it forever.
TORRES did a lot with this album. She managed to find the perfect mesh of pop, electronica and alternative and addressed life’s heavier and playful moments, all in just 10 songs. Thirstier is an iconic, career catapulting piece that leaves every listener hoping to hear more from TORRES soon.