The last couple of years have been big for raw, elementally stringent and wholly unafraid female singer-songwriters—thinking Waxahatchee, Courtney Barnett, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, to name a few—and with her sophomore album Sprinter, 24-year-old Mackenzie Scott, who records as Torres, steps right into the top tier. NPR’s First Listen has the whole thing streaming right now, and like the title track above, Sprinter is a grunge devotional—all sinew and mysticism, negotiating a churning, impossible tension with a constant sense of pleading and release. It makes me sit up when an artist can make the intimate feel this explosive, and Torres trades on her instincts forcefully and with startling grace.

Check out the album, and here’s “Strange Hellos,” another standout, too.


Contact the author at jia@jezebel.com.