Torres is a Nashville-based 22-year-old singer-songwriter named Mackenzie Scott, and on "Honey," she plugs in a Gibson guitar, opens her mouth, and stops time. The song, from her upcoming self-titled record, starts moonlit and slow, building gradually and promising a pulse-quickening Big Payoff that never quite arrives. All of the song's tightly compressed fireworks occur, instead, within Scott's huge, trembling, raw, voice, and the abject emotional intensity with which she wields it. "Honey, while you were ashing in your coffee/I was thinking of telling you've what you done to me," she murmurs.
Then, her voice scrapes into a low guttural moan, she kicks up a dirt-cloud beneath her with a single distorted guitar strum, and the song blooms. She knows she's captured something hair-raising, too, and is cradling the inspiration carefully: "What ghost crawled inside my guitar?/Don't move, just stay right where you are," she sings. With its slow-burn intensity and coiled energy, "Honey" feels like an arena-rock moment happening on an empty stage.
Torres: "Honey" on SoundCloud.
[from Torres; out 01/22/13]