TORRES is the stage name of US-American singer and songwriter Mackenzie Scott. And boy, like a bull charges at red cloth, Scott surely charges at gender stereotypes. She - amongst others like St. Vincent - belong to the female artists in 2017, who’ve released albums challenging rock stereotypes. Lyrically, musically, visually. Vulture published an excellent article on the matter, I highly recommend it.
Her song “Skim” is the first song off that album. In the music video you see her caressing and being caressed by faceless women. While Torres is wearing a man’s suit, the other women lounge around almost naked, making TORRES the dominant character of the sexual narrative. In a world of female singers prancing around in underwear and shaking their booties, Scott acts like a man would. As Sasha Gaffen writes in the aforementioned Vulture-piece, TORRES takes back the power that male artists took from woman by objectifying them. She also wields her guitar like the motherfucking axe it is, because she really is an awesome guitarist. It’s a clear message to the patriarchy: We can do as you did. We can also do better.
Musically TORRES has developed her style further. While self-titled debut from 2013 still was coping with basic narrative of a young woman growing and coping with sexuality, she’s evolved to a witty, and highly proficient songwriter. Lyrically she tells sophisticated stories filled with biting erotic wit. Musically she’s aged from the subdued, melancholic singer to a raw and powerful craftswoman. Her songs now range from Nine Inch Nail’s industrial metal to Siouxsie and the Banshees’ post punk and The Cure’s goth melancolia.
2017 has showed: We still need feminism. Women still struggle. But with artists like Torres, we get a bit closer to conquering that mountain.
You can learn more about TORRES here:
About the curator - Julia Maehner
Julia knows two main passions: Music and writing. From an early age she has been making music after a fashion. When she was 13, she sat herself down and decided: “I will be a music journalist. Because I love music and writing.” After a brief intermezzo in New York City working for the music boutique agency Girlie Action as a digital marketer, she moved back to Germany. This experience helped her build her know-how for her content marketing client, the business intelligence software CoffeeCup. She still writes for several German music and tech magazines and is working on launching her own blog, amps on ears.
Find out more about Julia and her projects: