The project of singer/songwriter Mackenzie Scott, Torres’ raw vocals and introspective lyrics embody the strength it takes to be completely vulnerable. Her 2013 self-titled, self-released debut album introduced her flair for combining drama with intimacy, a talent she continued to refine over the years. Whether adding a rock edge to 2015’s Sprinter or adding folk and electronic touches to 2017’s Three Futures and 2020’s Silver Tongue, Torres finds fresh perspectives on soul-baring songwriting.
Raised in Macon, Georgia, Scott began singing seriously in high school, performing in school musicals, singing in church, and taking up the guitar. As a teenager in 2009, she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University. While finishing her degree, she recorded her first album, the self-titled Torres – a tribute to her grandfather’s surname – at singer/songwriter/guitarist Tony Joe White’s studio in Franklin, Tennessee. The record was co-produced by Scott and Belmont alum Ryan McFadden and released in January 2013. Though Torres didn’t make an impact commercially, Scott received attention in the music press for a songwriting maturity beyond her years. After extensive touring to support the album, including opening spots for Hamilton Leithauser and Sharon Van Etten, she appeared on Van Etten’s 2014 LP, Are We There?
Following a move to Brooklyn, Scott decamped to Dorset, England to work with producer Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Marianne Faithfull) on Torres’ volatile second album, Sprinter, which was released in May 2015 on Partisan Records. Following Sprinter’s critical acclaim, Scott signed to the British independent record label 4AD, who issued her third album in September 2017. Inspired by the writing of Lorrie Moore and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Three Futures reunited Ellis and Torres and celebrated the body’s potential for joy. Though the album earned strong reviews, its sales fell short of 4AD’s expectations, and the label released Scott from her contract in April 2018. She then took some time away from making music before signing to Merge the following June. Torres’ self-produced debut for the label, Silver Tongue, appeared in January 2020, a record which understatedly regained her the critical and commercial foothold she’d been forced into scrambling for. Today, Torres releases Thirstier, and it and builds upon the same foundation; ambitious and unabashed, it’s the sound of an artist casting off any concern for others’ expectations.