MacKenzie Scott, the mercurial creative behind TORRES, was seemingly on the cusp of a breakthrough in 2017 with her third full-length album Three Futures, and a promising record deal with 4AD. Yet, despite the acclaim the record garnered, Scott was unceremoniously dropped as the record underperformed commercially. Her reintroduction with 2020's Silver Tongue (and her first release for Merge), though lush and evocative musically, was equally tumultuous lyrically, chronicling the rocky narrative arc of her relationship in layered art pop.
Six years ago, Mackenzie Scott sang, "I'm just trying to take this new skin for a spin." Known by her stage name Torres, Scott was 24 then--beginning a new life in New York and still wrestling with the emotional residue of her Southern Baptist upbringing. Her music at the time flitted between a murmur and a scream, with fiercely observant songs that examined love, hate, and religious hypocrisy with unflinching intensity. Her most recent studio releases--2017's Three Futures and last year's Silver Tongue--were more brooding and restrained, but they still felt liable to explode if mixed with a drop of kerosene.
Certainly, the American singer has achieved her goal of encapsulating and driving home the message of love. Elevating platonic, familial and spiritual affection to sit alongside romance is no easy feat but TORRES manages to avoid any cringe cliches, leaning into pure honesty. TORRES ' appreciation for the present is wild-eyed, glancing at the world around her in overflowing appreciation.
What happens when your career in angst-laden indie rock gets interrupted by domestic bliss? On Mackenzie Scott's fifth album as TORRES, 'Thirstier', the answer seems to be the assembling of career-best anthems with the pace and drama of a heist recruitment montage. Singles 'Don't Go Puttin Wishes In My Head' and 'Hug From A Dinosaur' already announced something spectacular - the singer's self-described "shameless Tim McGraw cheeseball hit" and "bringing my girlfriend lunch" masterpieces respectively - and the rest of the album occasionally matches those dizzying highs. The title track certainly provides the record's third moment of genius, a hymn to still desiring your partner after the new relationship energy has simmered down.