“I was all for being real, but if I don’t believe then no one will” snarls Mackenzie Scott on angsty opener ‘Strange Hellos’. With the amps cranked up, ‘Sprinter’’s introduction is worlds away from the skeletal backing Torres’ life-tainted growl received on her eponymous debut album in 2013. She continues to be a sucker for sadness, but PJ Harvey’s Robert Ellis and Ian Olliver play behind her unholy roar with a venomous chug – one that wouldn’t sound entirely out of place on a Hole record.

The choppy waters calm from there and it’s a blessing, as Scott’s raw lyrics regain their grip and steal back centre stage. On ‘A Proper Polish Welcome’ she returns to her first album’s sonic aesthetic, coming across all contemplative over washy strums as if she’s spent the night staring blankly at the dark with only her unreeling memories for company. The result is hypnotic and affecting, but it’s bettered by the record’s centrepiece, ‘Cowboy Guilt’, which artistically marches forth in a bold new direction. Here, the formulaic country sound of her Georgia roots is given a minimal futuristic makeover, which sets the direction for what would make a game-changing third LP.


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