During the final, meditative track of Torres’ third album, Three Futures, Mackenzie Scott sings, “To be given a body is the greatest gift.” That sentence by itself could be the thesis statement for all that comes before it: Three Futures is radically sensual, exploring vividly lush, expansive realms of atmosphere. Scott says she crafted it to be a “completely consuming experience,” something you take in with not only your ears but every sense at your disposal. Every note breathes and pulses with that ambition.
From spooky opener “Tongue Slap Your Brains Out” on, Three Futures takes its time. It’s dark, yet never cold; the closest it comes to chilly is “Helen In The Woods,” Twin Peaks-ian in a strange horror narrative that’s all the more hair-raising for Scott’s unhinged vocal delivery. This is followed by the blissful yet jagged “Bad Baby Pie,” a kindred spirit to the dreamy “Greener Stretch,” which offers a hopeful ode to staying positive over skittering cymbals and waterfall cascades of synth. Its gorgeous, St. Vincent-esque guitar stabs and squalls are mirrored in the robotic throbs of “Skim.” Throughout, Scott matches those beautiful layers with lyrics that touch on the cryptic and bizarre.
There aren’t many hooks to be found here, which means a lot of Three Futures sort of blurs together. But it’s all hazily fascinating, flowing naturally through its various peaks and valleys, and it succeeds in Scott’s goal of being truly immersive listening—something that reveals itself to you in strange new ways each time you return.