2017’s Three Futures begat an individual artistic breakthrough for Mackenzie Scott. Across her first two albums, the woman known as Torres proved herself as a piercing storyteller, but her third sees her embodying her many characters through more than just a newfound sound. Now, sex emits from every last pore in the manner of oblique confessionals, and all the better for it. I defy anyone not to squeal joyously at “I am not a righteous woman/ I’m more of an ass man”.
Silver Tongue, her fourth, has some hang ups: it’s altogether less freewheeling, less salacious, a little more buttoned-up. Even where bodily intimacy is concerned, Scott is mostly feeling homely. “Build my house upon the hips/ Of the last forest of its kind,” she declares on ‘Last Forest’; “I tend to sleep with my boots on/ Should I need to gallop over dark water/ To you on short notice,” she sings on ‘Dressing America’. But this isn’t to kink-shame; where her last LP tended to sag under its indulgence, Silver Tongue is tightly-coiled and whip-smart, rendered beefier than its scant 35 minutes by synth washes, esoteric percussion and, best of all, an even more ruthless penchant for melody.