Torres Greets ‘Sprinter’ LP with Explosive “Strange Hellos”

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 01.27.15 in News

You can call Mackenzie Scott a “space cowboy.” That’s one phrase the singer/songwriter who records as Torres has used to describe the sound of her upcoming sophomore album, Sprinter (due out on May 5 in the United States via Partisan Records), according to publicity materials. The follow-up to 2013′s head-turning self-titled debut isn’t influenced by Steve Miller Band, though, so much as Joan Didion and Ray Bradbury, Funkadelic and Nirvana. “I wanted something that very clearly stemmed from my Southern conservative roots but that sounded futuristic and space-y at the same time,” she said in a statement.”

Didion and Nirvana like are fitting reference points for album opener “Strange Hellos” (via Pitchfork), volatile fuzz-rock that opens with a diaristic account of conflicted sorrow for a woman named Heather whose mother is apparently suffering from dementia. “I was all for being real/ But if I don’t believe, then no one will,” Scott seethes. Longtime PJ Harvey collaborator Rob Ellis produced the album, and the backing band includes Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley along with Harvey bassist Ian Oliver.

Sprinter‘s lyrics address the family life of Scott, who was adopted and whose adoptive mother twice lost contact with the birth mother. “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,” she said of the lyrical ideas. “Those are themes that have cropped up in my personal life, in my writing, and my mom can definitely understand that herself.”

Torres, 'Sprinter'

Sprinter (May 5, Partisan Records)

1. Strange Hellos
2. New Skin
3. Son, You Are No Island
4. A Proper Polish Welcome
5. Sprinter
6. Cowboy Guilt
7. Ferris Wheel
8. The Harshest Light
9. The Exchange

Torres tour dates:
1/30 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Night Bazaar
3/17-22 Austin, TX – SXSW
5/6 Nashville, TN – The Stone Fox
5/8 Dallas, TX – Club Dada
5/9 Austin, TX – The Mohawk
5/11 Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock Live
5/12 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
5/13 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
5/15 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
5/16 Seattle, WA – Barboza
5/17 Vancouver, BC – Electric Owl
5/20 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St Entry
5/21 Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
5/22 Detroit, MI – UFO Factory
5/23 Toronto, ON – The Garrison
5/31 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound