At the age of just 22-years-old, American singer-songwriter Mackenzie Scott — known as TORRES after her mother’s maiden name — has become something of an indie darling with the release of her self-titled debut album. Showcasing slow burning, immersive rock and folk songs topped with her raw yet gentle, wispy growl of a voice, the LP has received much in the way of critical acclaim. “The album came about in the four years it took me to write it”, said Scott, “I went into a home studio in Tennessee last year and recorded it with my producer, Ryan McFadden.”
That haunting, meditative sound to her tracks is perhaps something to do with the fact that the singer grew up playing and singing hymns at her local church. “I like to write about God and spiritual warfare,” she agreed, “My church upbringing certainly has its effect on most things that I do.” With that said, Scott was hesitant to describe how she perceives her own sound. “I don’t really like the ‘sound’ question,” she explained, “I never know how to answer it. I just wanted these songs to be realised in recorded format the way that I wrote them and intended them to sound. I achieved what I wanted with this album.”
She was, however, willing to discuss her influences, and gushed over her love of Brandi Carlile, “Everything she does is brilliant…She commands any room she sets foot in and demands respect from the moment she opens her mouth to sing. I want to be just like her.” Scott has also been listening to In Utero a lot lately, as she mentioned, “It’s totally rekindled my Nirvana obsession”.
Lyrically, Scott’s songs offer an incredibly candid and cathartic insight into her psyche, and she conceded that such an autobiographical approach to her songwriting used to make her self-conscious, “I was wary initially, but I got over it pretty quickly. There are plenty of things to be afraid of in this world, but vulnerability isn’t really one of them for me.”
On the subject of a second album the singer revealed that she’s been getting started, albeit quite slowly given that she is currently touring, “I’m not so good at writing on the road, but I’ve been trying. I’m doing as much writing for the next record as possible.”
Speaking of the tour, Scott offered an insight of what to expect from her upcoming Dublin show at the Sugar Club, as compared to her normal live set with a full backing band, “It should be pretty intimate. It’ll be a solo set, so I’m looking forward to stripping it back a bit and letting the songs breathe.”
With an album full of beautifully crafted ethereal songs behind her, Torres is certainly set to put on a spellbinding show with an otherworldliness that might well recall those early church shows.