Monday, 18 February 2013

ALBUM: TORRES - TORRES

Mackenzie Scott is Torres, a young 22 year lady from Nashville, Tennessee, who earlier last month released her debut self titled album. Like most solo singer songwriters she has a story, however hers is somewhat more believable and that only adds an extra dimension to what is a deftly strong opening body of work.

We are told that is was during the Christmas of 2011 that Scott was given her first electric guitar - a Gibson 335 for you guitar heads out there, which was a present from her family. With it she discovered that her previously acoustic based songs could take on a whole new form, growing into the ten songs which form her debut LP.

Opener 'Mother Earth, Father Good' starts with some sombre strings, before a distorted guitar is added alongside Scott's solemn vocals. This rather melancholy beginning might instantly make you feel like there's going to be great depth to this album; well you wouldn't be wrong. As soon as 'Honey' kicks in you know how important that discovery of the electric guitar has been, with Scott herself saying "I didn't quite find the sound I was looking for before I started playing electric".

'Honey' is a 5 minute plus amalgamation of EMA like vocals set against some gorgeous guitar work and knowing drums. The lyrics suit the music poignantly, with the not always perfect guitar and vocal delivery matching up with the content of infatuation, jealousy, and betrayal. It is a theme which is repeated and expanded upon during the course of the album. 'Jealousy and I' is purposely sparse, with the lyrics of "Jealousy and I, we're two of a kind, and she's all mine" resonating strongly throughout.

'November Baby' is perhaps the most personal and intimate song on the record, so much so you kind of feel like you shouldn't be listening as it sounds like an entirely private affair for Mackenzie herself. But it's this blatant honesty that makes the song all the more endearing, and with the backdrop of a gorgeous sounding guitar throughout the track is a real standout of the album. It's also over 7 minutes long, allowing for plenty of space for everything to be taken in.

'When Winters Over' is a more straight forward rock track, which is fine, but after the delightfully strong opening you are left feeling a little flat. Thankfully 'Chains' takes on a different edge entirely, led by an eerie drum machine, Scott's vocals are given full license to roam, and roam they do throughout, with her deep tones penetrating the icy sound scape which is created. It's haunting, truly brilliant stuff.

'Moon and Back' is more of the standard rock stuff, perfectly formed but...yeah. 'Don't Run Away Emilie' brings us back to the good stuff, as does 'Come To Terms', with both tracks stripped back nature a clear staple for success; letting the vocal/guitar combination stand out and just be lovely. The record finishes with 'Waterfall', which is a completely satisfying closing track, featuring soft hooks aplenty, warm ambient bass, and a positive vibe which is at odds with all of what has gone before, obviously.

Captured almost straight to tape 'Torres' is an album of often simple and sparse arrangements, something which is incredibly brave for someone of Scott's tender years to bare her thoughts and ideas on such an open platform. It's quite a personal record from start to finish, which when combined with her fairly rangy vocals and retro sounding electric guitar (which is pretty much lush throughout), ultimately leads to a debut album which is bold, authentic, and full of integrity - quite frankly its utterly brilliant.

You can download 'Torres' now, or buy the physical version on CD or Vinyl later this month - here.

1 comments:

  1. great to view your music site jon sidwell, i am impressed... keep it up

    ReplyDelete