Mackenzie Scott and I have a lot in common. We both grew up in a would-be pristine Christian framework that turned to poison fruit in our hand, and we both used running to try to momentarily leave the larger, inescapable confines of our world. “Sprinter” is the title track from Torres’ forthcoming sophomore record, and true to its name, it’s the one where Mackenzie Scott throws things into high gear, powering through pastoral hypocrisy and her own increased burden — in light of the failure of others — to stay true to her faith. The growling, spastic guitar work here is provided by Adrian Utley of Portishead, and Scott also has producer/drummer Rob Ellis and bassist Ian Oliver (who often work with PJ Harvey) in her corner here. Their expertise comes through, leading Scott’s bleating voice like a lamb through the craggy details of her story. But she also deftly employs spiritual imagery in a lyrical sleight of hand, ending the track with some sun/son wordplay that runs rampant in most Christian faith-based literature. “There’s freedom to and freedom from” she pronounces carefully at one point, urging us toward escape, not permission. Scott ends the story with ambiguity, but I hope at least as Torres, she got away. Listen below.
Sprinter is out 5/5 via Partisan.