What an enormous room (Merge)

Contact Jessica Linker about TORRES

TORRES — the recording project of New York artist Mackenzie Scott — announces her new album, What an enormous room, out January 26, 2024, on Merge, and presents its lead single/video, “Collect.” Alongside the announcement, Scott unveils a 2024 North American and European tour, with more dates still to come. What an enormous room was recorded at Durham, North Carolina’s Stadium Heights Sound last fall and follows the release of Scott’s celebrated 2021 album, Thirstier. “Collect” introduces the new chapter with sharp production, blown-out synths, and a confrontation: “I know what you expect // You expect to be first // You claim what you didn’t earn // Is that what you deserve?” Scott exudes confidence as she barrels down a line of questioning: “Did I hit a nerve?” Scott adds, “This song is about justice being served. The rage song I’ve been trying to write for years!” These emotions are on full display in the song’s accompanying video, directed by Dani Okon.


TORRES’ career spans a decade, six studio albums, countless one-offs, tours, articles, and conversations, each marked by a dedication to creation that treats the ongoing act itself with as much preciousness as what is left in the record. What an enormous room was produced by Scott and Sarah Jaffe, with engineering by Ryan Pickett, mixing done overseas in Bristol by TJ Allen, and mastering by indie stalwart Heba Kadry. Each of the album’s ten songs was written by Scott, who plays guitar, bass, synths, organ, piano, and programmed drums, with Jaffe and Allen also contributing to various instrumentation.


To quote Julien Baker, who penned the album’s bio, directly: “What I can say about TORRES is I think the music comes from a convicted place. […] And I think it’s just incredibly good music to listen to.” Further words from Baker pulled from the bio are below.


The modes of being are different: heartbroken, broke, furious (right- and unrighteously), awestruck by love, compelled by desire. Sometimes resigned to death, sometimes fascinated by and reverent of the future. Sometimes viscerally present, other times suspended in heady awareness, poised on a fulcrum of observation and participation in the phenomenon that aliveness is… The tools are the same: instruments that growl and shriek and moan, a lyrical voice shouting, swooning, chuckling, snarling as the moment commands. TORRES’ music-making is conducted in a melodic vocabulary unique to itself — methods, equipment, circumstances shifting around the impulse to affirm the self within the world, to make art that bears all these little artifacts of the divine and of the real and show it to people and know it is valuable.


You can hear it in the songs, someone reaching, leaning over the boundary between known and not, probing the almighty. If TORRES’ music gets weird, gets brainy, gets funny, gets defiant, provokes, deliberately scandalizes, employs the crass to undermine the austere, courts lofty philosophical truth — it’s all done with the conviction  of an artist with the (essential) belief in the worth of their task.


Next year, TORRES will embark on a North American/ EU/ UK tour, with stops spanning Cleveland, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and more, including select festival performances. A full list of dates is below, and tickets are on sale to the public beginning this Friday, October 6th, at 10am local time.