|↑ TORRES — SPRINTER ↓|
Torres — Sprinter
Birth name: Mackenzie Scott
Born: January 23, 1991, Georgia
Origin: Macon, Georgia ~~ Nashville, TN ~~ Brooklyn, NYC
Album release: May 5th, 2015
Record Label: Partisan Records
01. Strange Hellos 3:55
02. New Skin 5:16
03. Son, You Are No Island 4:28
04. A Proper Polish Welcome 5:05
05. Sprinter 4:45
06. Cowboy Guilt 2:49
07. Ferris Wheel 7:02
08. The Harshest Light 4:08
09. The Exchange 7:49
BY MICHELLE GESLANI, ON JANUARY 27, 2015, 5:10PM
♠ Brooklyn indie rocker Mackenzie Scott, aka Torres, release her sophomore album, Sprinter, on May 5th through Partisan Records. The follow~up to 2013’s self~itled LP was produced by Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey) and features a backing band comprised of PJ Harvey’s Ian Olliver and Portishead’s Adrian Utley.
♠ According to Scott, her new material was directly inspired by her family. (Scott was adopted and she sings about the difficulty of reconnecting with her birth mother.) She describes the LP themes, saying: “Whether it be abandonment, or fear of rejection, or perhaps inability to connect with people, comes down to that fear of isolation, of not being good enough. Those are themes that have cropped up in my personal life, in my writing, and my mom can definitely understand that herself.” :: http://consequenceofsound.net/
ANN POWERS, MARCH 24, 2015 3:10 PM ET
≡•≡ Walk America’s motor~own playing fields on a Sunday afternoon, past baseball diamonds that look like half~ewn crop circles and running tracks cut in dirt or clay. See the swarms of children neatening themselves into game formations, each one trying to tamp down nervous energy and make her talent behave. Skinny legs protrude from nylon shorts quickly pulled on after the church clothes come off. Mothers sit and knit on the sidelines in collapsible chairs. Fathers stand, ready to go to the snack bar or sneak a cooler beer; ready to yell. This is fun? One or two kids run like thoroughbreds toward a victory, and in those moments, everyone agrees: The vigor of the game gets bodies strong, the discipline will guide players toward successful adulthood. And the yelling, the sadness of the weak player who’s never put in, all that can be silenced by the snap of the team picture.
≡•≡ But then there’s the wild kid, who runs the wrong way, who drops the ball maybe on purpose, who says to her mother in the car after the game, I don’t want to do this any more. She’ll be back. The coach convinces the parents. The child is so fast, and her potential has become her punishment. She squanders it magnificently. Her friends don’t get her any more. After the game, she always ignores them; she goes to her room and writes her insecurities in tight lines that spill beyond the borders of her spiral notebook. Nearing sunset on Monday, a day free of practice, she will sneak through her backyard fence and go to the field and run and run and run and run.
≡•≡ “Sprinter,” the title track from Torres’s career~making new album, to be released in May, reveals this child: how she suffers, and finally, willfully thrives. Belittled and betrayed within the not~so~safe space of her religious upbringing, Scott’s sprinter runs in circles, gets into a lather. The song’s lyrics are both particular and philosophical. Whether it’s straight~up biography from Mackenzie Scott’s Christian youth in Macon, Georgia only matters if truth~telling is what it took to achieve the tight perspective that makes “Sprinter” both dizzying and forcefully clear. This kid who runs away and runs back and finally decides to outlast what endangers her — “if there’s still time, I’ll choose the sun” — could live in any town whose main roads are lined with overlit parks and recently constructed churches.
≡•≡ “Sprinter” rises and falls like a pubescent mood. Scott is playing in a quartet with three masters of dynamically complicated rock — producer/drummer Rob Ellis and bassist Ian Oliver, frequent collaborators with Polly Harvey, and guitarist Adrian Utley of Portishead. The grinding guitar riff that frames the song’s narrative embodies the push to achieve that every parentally~monitored child internalizes and dreads, an airier, spookier guitar line shows how that drive unravel. The distortion that overtakes the song midway feels like questioning, self~doubt, refusal. But the quietude that descends, that sunset feeling, as Scott modulates her fighting wail into a murmur. The moment has the impact of a chatty kid going silent, looking an adult in the eye. Are you listening?
≡•≡ The fact is, every child is a sprinter, flailing toward small victories, trying to prove her worth in incremental bursts, and every adult holds the memory of that desperate effort. “There’s freedom to, and freedom from,” Scott sings halfway through this sprint that turns into a marathon. “And freedom to run from everyone.” Every child who’s crushed grass beneath sneakers knows what it’s like to wish the race could take her into open space. “Sprinter” creates that free zone, circles back on it, and ends up on a finish line of its own creation. :: http://www.npr.org/
By Caitlin White / March 24, 2015 — 5:22 pm
≡•≡ Mackenzie Scott and I have a lot in common. We both grew up in a would~be pristine Christian framework that turned to poison fruit in our hand, and we both used running to try to momentarily leave the larger, inescapable confines of our world. “Sprinter” is the title track from Torres’ forthcoming sophomore record, and true to its name, it’s the one where Mackenzie Scott throws things into high gear, powering through pastoral hypocrisy and her own increased burden — in light of the failure of others — to stay true to her faith. The growling, spastic guitar work here is provided by Adrian Utley of Portishead, and Scott also has producer/drummer Rob Ellis and bassist Ian Oliver (who often work with PJ Harvey) in her corner here. Their expertise comes through, leading Scott’s bleating voice like a lamb through the craggy details of her story. But she also deftly employs spiritual imagery in a lyrical sleight of hand, ending the track with some sun/son wordplay that runs rampant in most Christian faith~based literature. “There’s freedom to and freedom from” she pronounces carefully at one point, urging us toward escape, not permission. Scott ends the story with ambiguity, but I hope at least as Torres, she got away. ≡•≡ http://www.stereogum.com/
|↑ TORRES — SPRINTER ↓|