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Positive reviews give Torres indie cred

When December graduate Mackenzie Scott rebranded herself as Torres and released her first single, “Honey,” last month, the feedback was anything but slow.

In its first day out, the self-released song had 10,000 hits, a number which doubled in 48 hours.

This heavy traffic was in part caused by independent music site Pitchfork naming it as a “Best New Track” hours after it dropped.

As the artist, who recently released her first album, said, Torres now has people’s attention.

Feedback on not only Scott’s so-called “arena anthem” single but also her album has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly the review from a typically harsh Pitchfork.

“I thought they were kidding,” Scott said. “They have a reputation for being harsh, so it was a pleasant surprise.”

Scott, a graduate of Belmont’s songwriting program, has been writing for roughly four years but just digitally released her first record Jan. 22. But with positive reviews from hard to please critics, Scott hopes people will be hearing a lot more about Torres in the near future.

Pegged as a raw-voiced singer songwriter by Pitchfork, Scott’s lyrics and music are deeply personal and build of her own experiences. Each piece is meant to be painfully honest.

“I don’t sugarcoat lyrics. I have a very hard time lying, so generally how you hear it is how it happened,”  Scott said.

Her self-titled and self-released album has been in the works since Scott first moved to Nashville in 2009. Instead of pushing for an earlier release, Scott took her time to develop her own style and figure out what she wanted to be as an artist.

Scott’s Americana folk lyrics paired with an electric guitar style can be seen by considering those who influenced her — Brandy Carlisle, St. Vincent, Johnny Cash, Ryan Adams and Joan Jett. And like many of her influences, Scott focuses on sensitive topics like isolation.

“I really tried to write about isolation and its different forms,” she said. “Feeling like you’re being left behind, not understood, most people have felt it in their own ways.”

For Scott, writing has become an outlet for emotion. She said it’s cathartic and healing to write about experiences that stay on her mind for a long time.

Although this record has been in the making for four years, Scott hopes her next album will be available in approximately two years. She plans to start writing for her next album after touring the new release.

Torres, is already receiving great reviews on iTunes and will be released on CD and vinyl Friday, Feb. 8. There will be an album release show at The Basement that night.

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