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Torres – What an enormous room (2024) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Torres – What an enormous room (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 35:51 minutes | 743 MB | Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Female Vocal
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Merge Records

What an enormous room is not only the title of the album by TORRES, it is an incantation, a phrase she has had in her head now for several years. In the video for What an enormous room’s debut single “Collect,” Scott finds herself alone in rooms that stretch beyond the frame of the camera. You can observe details of the rooms-the rubble and support beams in one, the lighting in the other-but they neither define their purpose nor explain her presence in them; these are large spaces whose lack of definition invites anxiety and even fear. What does Scott do when cast against that kind of uncertainty? She dances. She throws herself against it. When she sings “look at all the dancing I can do,” it’s an invitation to awe, and there is much here to be awed by. What an enormous room contains wry, Laurie Anderson-esque art rock, Nirvana’s rage, and ABBA’s strut. Rather than fear the unknown, Scott has chosen to fill it with as much of herself as possible, an artist unwilling to be stifled.

It makes sense that Torres (née Mackenzie Scott) has spoken of being influenced by both Broadway and Sylvia Plath. High drama and quiet moments both have a place on the sixth album from the Brooklyn singer-songwriter. “Collect” exudes an undeniable goth vibe via a heavy grind with wheezy organ and metallic beats. “You expect to be first/ You claim what you didn’t earn,” Scott seethes, before proclaiming judgment: “I am the Water of Life”—a reference to the Holy Spirit—and “I am the Angel of Death/ I am here to collect/ I am here to collect/ I am here to collect,” on and on, teeth bared. It is chilling and exhilarating and Scott has referred to it as “The rage song I’ve been trying to write for years!” Urgent and percussive tracks like dancey “Life As We Don’t Know It” and “Happy Man’s Shoes” are slick with futuristic flourishes as Scott adopts an automaton delivery for serrated lines like “I’ve got a way of not seeing the dead …. it’s not like it’s your demise, babe/ My star’s just on the rise, babe.” But Torres warms up on “I Got the Fear,” a beautiful ballad about anxiety (“Worry’s got me by the throat … it’s breathing down my neck/ And it does not care that I object”), which evokes “Something in the Way” by Nirvana. “Artificial Limits,” likewise, has a ragged Kurt Cobain quality, while “Forever Home” and “Songbird Forever” lean more toward early Liz Phair—the latter by combining earnest, sturdy piano with ethereal vocals that travel deep and high. “I am your king/ I am your queen/ I am everything in between,” sings Scott, who is non-binary. It sounds like a threat and a promise. Many of the songs on What an Enormous Room, which is produced by Scott and Sarah Jaffe (the two also play the myriad instruments), end abruptly, seemingly mid-conversation or thought, which can be unsettling. But trust the process. When Scott goes tender—as on the compelling, Lucy Dacus-esque “Jerk Into Joy”—it’s lovely. Yet it’s also striking how an entire album like this would become monotonous; the soft underbelly needs all the other rough, angular edges to make it shine. – Shelly Ridenour

1-1. Torres – Happy man’s shoes (03:27)
1-2. Torres – Life as we don’t know it (01:45)
1-3. Torres – I got the fear (03:24)
1-4. Torres – Wake to flowers (02:58)
1-5. Torres – Ugly mystery (02:22)
1-6. Torres – Collect (02:56)
1-7. Torres – Artificial limits (06:02)
1-8. Torres – Jerk into joy (04:38)
1-9. Torres – Forever home (03:39)
1-10. Torres – Songbird forever (04:35)


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