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Torres remains uncompromising as her following grows 

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Mackenzie Scott, performing as Torres, has based a career across four albums on not compromising — mystical lyrics that are at times inscrutable, a passionate defense of lesbian sensibilities, guitar pyrotechnics reliant on vast sonic leaps and pedal manipulation. The avant-garde indie label 4AD even canceled a three-album contract after Torres’ 2017 album Three Futures, claiming she had no commercial potential (Frank Zappa would be proud). Luckily, Mac McCaughan picked up Torres for his Merge Records label, and initial reaction to Silver Tongue indicates Scott and McCaughan have the last laugh.

Torres didn’t deliver any epic reworkings of her second or third albums for her new release, instead relying on work that burns with quiet intensity. Though she told NPR that these times are too serious for musicians to release superfluous art, these songs aren’t political in nature, but explorations of desire that hold just as much weight as topical songs. Torres left songwriting in 2018 and almost gave up the music industry. The sudden creative burst that led to this album was a gift to her fans, and the enthusiastic response to the new video “Dressing America” suggests she’s hitting a wider audience. Those who grasp her unique and powerful style can savor every track, while the rest of the world can join 4AD, simply not getting Torres.

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