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The Dome, Tufnell Park
2 Dartmouth Park Hill, NW5 1HL London, United Kingdom
DHP Family present TORRES live at The Dome, Tufnell Park.
When Mackenzie Scott started writing the third TORRES record, Three Futures, she became intrigued by the idea that music could be enjoyed and experienced by all five senses. This concept wasn't a new fascination, though; after all, the Brooklyn-via-Nashville musician is already known for lighting fragrant Palo Santo on stage before her concerts.
During the writing process, Scott found supporting intellectual inspiration in books: works of fiction (Vladimir Nabokov's Transparent Things, Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, Lorrie Moore, Self-Help), memoirs (Carrie Brownstein's Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me) and even Alejandro Jodorowsky's Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy. Coates’ book in particular helped inspire one of Three Futures' overarching lyrical themes: celebrating the body. «This album is entirely about using the body that each of us has been given as a mechanism of joy,» Scott says. «The body is something to be celebrated; it doesn't just occupy space. And the record celebrates the space that you've been given.»
Three Futures exudes this idea via immersive music. Unlike 2015's Sprinter, a stark record whose ominous electronic elements largely lurked in the shadows behind deliberate guitars and languid arrangements, Three Futures places mechanized grooves at the forefront. In a nod to the multitude of pleasures hinted at by the record's theme, Scott's sonic inspirations are diverse and enveloping: perforated electro-pop static, gothic industrial's harsh textures and insistent Kraut rock.
Greyscale electronic beats and jagged guitars scrape together like malfunctioning machinery on «Concrete Ganesha,» but coexist peacefully on the Teutonic new wave buzz of «Greener Stretch» and robotic synth-pop of «Skim.» The title track, meanwhile, is a spacious meditation with heartbeat-like rhythms, chilly programmatic shivers and delicate guitar arcs.
Through it all, Scott remains a fluid and expressive vocalist: she employs both a macabre low rumble and a more animated, frantic delivery to convey the contorted desires described in «Helen in the Woods»; exhibits a throaty, hollow timbre on «Marble Focus»; and takes a solemn, reverential approach on «To Be Given a Body.»
«I was listening to tons of Kraftwerk and Can, but also Kate Bush, Portishead and Abba while touring Sprinter,» Scott says. «With Three Futures, I knew I wanted to make my own version of a trance pop record so I used a drum machine to make a beat first for at least half of the new songs, and wrote around the rhythm.»
Three Futures' austere foundation crystalized during initial tracking, which took place in Stockport, England, in a studio located outside of the stark manufacturing hub of Manchester with co-producer Rob Ellis (who Scott also worked with on Sprinter). «The basis of the record—the infrastructure if you will—was all recorded there,» Scott says. «Stockport is a cold place—not physically cold, but cold-dark—which definitely fed into the foundation. I was in a surreal mindset for those initial tracking days.»
However, the album was finished in Dorset, England, the same place where she worked on Sprinter. The seaside county's rolling hills and pastures, not to mention sunnier climate, «fed into the sort of lush, sonically warm elements of the music,» Scott says. «The recording sessions in Dorset gave the record a hope, a warmth and a life. Ultimately, I didn't want it to be all brittle and stark, and surreal and dark.»
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