The first thing you notice about the music of Mackenzie Scott, who performs as Torres, is her singing voice. She possesses a husky tenor of mahogany textures, which she often navigates between her lowest octaves, keeping the listener off guard by placing load-bearing weight on unexpected syllables in her lines. On her third, peppiest, and most-accomplished album, she once more collaborates with Rob Ellis, percussionist and producer for indie-rock star PJ Harvey. It’s an apt pairing. Like Harvey, Scott crafts songs full of dark corners, constructing lyrics with a strong narrative focus and keenly observed details. She chooses odd subjects and finds side routes into their psyches, such as “Righteous Woman,” a song mostly sung from the perspective of a man spreading his legs obnoxiously wide on the subway.
On the title track, Scott summons an air of nostalgia for a tale about a romance that was doomed from the start, telling it from the stance of the person who knew they’d be breaking a heart. “I hope that’s what you’ll remember,” implores the chorus, “Not how I left but how I entered.” The gesture is at once mysterious, sweet, and self-serving. When paired with the slow beat and wobbly washes of guitar, the effect is exquisite. The production, by Scott and Ellis, gives a sensual air even to subject matter that is gloomy, working in darker hues with a spectrum that seemingly expands before us.