What’s there to mine, as a songwriter, if you’ve gotten all the pieces you ever wished? That’s been a central occupation of Mackenzie Scott, who performs as Torres, since her 2020 album Silver Tongue. The wrestle to settle into settling down involves the forefront on her newest document, What an Huge Room. She approaches self-reflection with cautious optimism, the mark of somebody who is aware of who they will fall again on when occasions inevitably get robust. “The dread doesn’t pay any lease cash,” she observes on “I received the concern.” “However so long as it doesn’t get ahold of my honey/Suppose I’ll be alright.”
As she’s entered her thirties, Scott has taken on a second artistic life because the muse and topic of her associate, the painter Jenna Gribbon, who she married in 2022. Gribbon, whose portraits of Scott graced the covers of Silver Tongue and 2021’s Thirstier, usually depicts her in scenes of home bliss mid-action: pulling on a gown, studying a guide whereas slouched on a tenting chair, flipping channels on the TV with no pants on. That very same want to search out magnificence in banality—a group of mundane moments that construct as much as the bigger image—permeates the songs on What an Huge Room. Between “months of Sundays” and morning espresso, Scott can understand loneliness, grief, and nervousness all lurking within the wings, however none of them really feel fairly as vivid as “the best way you maintain me manner too tight once we sleep.”
From the glitching marching-band rhythm on Sprinter’s “Cowboy Guilt” to the lopsided ’80s pop-rock of Thirstier’s “Don’t Go Puttin Needs in My Head,” Scott has excelled at including a jagged, oddball edge to acquainted rock constructions. At its finest, this album pushes additional into the bizarre. “Life as we don’t realize it,” describing a near-death expertise the place Scott and her stepson virtually drowned, encompasses a descending keyboard line paying homage to the B-52’s, or a “sport over” sound impact—a darkly humorous illustration of getting pulled underwater. (The evocative aptitude extends to one in all Scott’s finest strains so far: “Every time I seemed for God, I drank a wave down each time.”) Forceful lead single “Acquire” is basic Torres, pairing fuzzed-out guitar with a steadfast beat that instructions consideration, whereas opener “Blissful man’s footwear” provides groovy bass and glowing results that flip menace into triumph. “I don’t settle for your disgrace,” Scott sings, decided as ever, now setting her sights on consolation and self-love quite than revenge.