A small, sparsely decorated brownstone in Bedstuy with an empty bedroom and an aging, untuned piano welcomes Mackenzie Scott, a newcomer to Brooklyn as of this year, into its modest warmth to perform two of her gut-punching songs under the Torres name.
There is alight snowfall between windowsills, a cat stalking the hallway and no audience at 3 in the afternoon except the bottle collectors, working their way along the alley beneath.
Mackenzie starts with her guitar, careful strumming punctuated with impactful percussion, slapped precisely between phrases. Mackenzie’s lyrics are impossible to slip past; these are not melodies to hum. Her songs lay bare facts of the case, heated and partial in their telling.
She moves to the piano. There are no trills or floral accompaniment here, just four notes to lay tracks under a train set for collision. The music of Torres carries the weight of experience, building slow acceleration towards its listener’s position, dangerous to the unwitting heart, a satisfying disaster to the willing who stand in its path, and a death blow to the protagonists who crossed her.
Originally published March 17th, 2014 // La Blogotheque