TORRES Wed 10/11 Doug Fir

Torres (AKA Mackenzie Scott) says her new album, Three Futures, "is entirely about using the body that each of us has been given as a mechanism of joy." Its 10 tracks of deconstructed electro-pop don't sound very joyous, though—they swing wildly between all-consuming despair, rage, euphoria, and numbness. But the record's more about shining light on the fear and insecurity that leads to these states of being, and how knowing yourself can bring joy.

Where the Brooklyn-via-Nashville musician's 2015 album Sprinter exploded in big guitar swells and moments of catharsis, Three Futures lingers in Scott's exposed subconscious, with melodies made of dark synth, mechanical drums, piercing guitar riffs, and the dull, electric hum of static. Scott's lyrics are intellectual and introspective, but throughout the record, mentions of peach cobbler, bergamot perfume, and intoxicating lust brings the focus back to the physical body.

"Skim" begins as a confrontation with her unfaithful partner ("Did he hold your hips with authority?") and transforms into sober self-reflection ("I know every tense in which I cannot exist"). Standout "Helen in the Woods" sounds like it's meant to soundtrack a thriller, with throbbing synth and Scott's intense, guttural voice. The airy title track pauses at the crossroads of her "Three Futures," which she recently told NPR are "What do you want to happen? What do you think should happen? What will happen?"

"To Be Given a Body" closes the record with a hymn, meditating on the hopeful idea that "to be given a body is the greatest gift." With her past work as Torres, Scott proved the power of her voice and songwriting. But Three Futures is something else—gorgeous, raw, and brutally emotional.