Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott) has put out the third and most energizing single from her upcoming album Three Futures. This will be her third full length release, and the singles so far show a significant evolution in her music. Compared to her previous albums, her new work involves a lot more electronic elements, sparser production, and a more angular, choppy guitar beautifully reminiscent of St. Vincent's early work (as much as I try not to make comparisons I don't mind making this one because it's very dear to my heart). This creates a simmering, tension filled sonic space in which every part has room to glow.
In "Helen in the Woods", the glimmering bulbs blossom into a glare and all that encapsulated energy explodes into a maniacal dance. It is lyrically, sonically, and visually a release of the precariously balanced tension built in the previous singles "Three Futures" and "Skim". This bracing blend of murky, gritty synth (two exquisite bass lines buttress the song - one undulating and subdued, the other, grainy and sustained), spastic guitar, and a minimalistic kick-snare beat is a new spin on the original acoustic incarnation of the song from years prior. Exploring the theme of obsession and loss of control, it tells a vivid story of a woman acting on the edges of desire. Scott's voice is at its frenzied best, pushing itself to the corners of its ability and breaking fervently through the cracks.
The bewitching video was directed by Ashley Connor, who also did the visuals for the previous two singles, set in the same pristine house. To match the shift in sound and pace, this one takes the setting outside and into darkly lit corners. Whereas Scott's performance in the aforementioned videos is muted and controlled, here she is unwieldy and expressive, gliding chaotically through the trees and the sky and giving us piercing looks through the din.
Three Futures will be out on September 29 via 4AD.