With her rich vocals and beautifully intense sound, Torres aka McKenzie Scott has a way of conveying her emotions in her music that makes them resonate. With her second album Sprinter released earlier this year, she displayed a maturity far beyond her years and lined herself up for grand comparisons to the likes of St Vincent. Her show at Scala this month promises to be a treat and with the fantastic Du Blonde supporting, we’re going to make sure we’re down there early.
Tori Amos – Icicle
My AP English teacher in my senior year of high school (and best friend) introduced me to Tori Amos. This song, Icicle, is from the album Under the Pink. I used to listen to it on repeat in my car and fist-pump over her command of her instruments (her voice and the piano) and the English language. She’s the first musician and writer I’d ever heard who embodies subversive from every angle—she possesses her piano like an omniscient spirit. In Icicle, she sings about masturbating while her family gathers downstairs in their pyjamas for a morning prayer service. I can’t think of another artist who tells stories like Tori Amos does.
Nick Drake – Place to Be
A friend in one of my songwriting classes my junior year told me to listen to Nick Drake, so I bought all of his records immediately. It was autumn in Nashville and I let myself marinate in all of the songs, especially this album, Pink Moon. His lyrics are prophetic and concise, and my connection to them and to his spirit was (and still is) overwhelming.
The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Really Love You Anymore
Once, my friend Emmett played this on his classical guitar in the lobby of our dormitory. It was my freshman year of college and there was a group of us hanging out late. I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever heard.
Live – Lightning Crashes
My boyfriend in early high school got me obsessed with this song. Can’t explain it, I just love it – I cry almost every time I hear it. I’m a sucker for existential 90s jams, especially when they’re sugared with epic crescendos.
The National – Sea of Love
I listened to this song (and the rest of this album) every day in the summer during the last couple of months before I left Nashville for Brooklyn. It was a strange launching pad and gave me some resolve to leave my life in Tennessee behind me. It’s a heartbreaking record, but it ultimately resonates as triumphant, to me.
Buy: Torres – Sprinter