Music Reviews
What an Enormous Room

Torres What an Enormous Room

(Merge) Rating - 7/10

There’s a profound sense of freedom that permeates Mackenzie Scott’s latest album as Torres, What an Enormous Room—a sensation that feels born out of domestic bliss. While her previous release, Thirstier, was all about the exhilarating passion of love found with her wife, artist Jenna Gribbon, her new record explores what it means to live a shared life. It takes on the joy of finding your person while also navigating the range of challenges and emotions that can pop up day to day. If Thirstier was a declaration of love from the rooftops, What an Enormous Room is the relief of a serene evening in her partner’s arms. 

It's in this happy tranquility that Torres expands her sound into the furthest reaches of the room. On the opener, Happy Man’s Shoes, her guitar sparkles into the ether as heavy drums pace along. “Won't spend the rest of my days/Crawling into the frame/But I love you,” Scott sings, a healthy, egoless expression of love. Wake to Flowers is just as heartfelt, finding comfort in the big and small moments with her wife over a great and grungy guitar riff. 

Her statements of elation work so well because they are made in the face of hardships, not in avoidance of them. I Got the Fear takes a deep look at Torres’ struggles with anxiety, her calm acoustic guitar hounded by a muffled percussion, like someone banging on the door in the next room. Collect is used as a place to let her rage explode into a heavy, shuddering guitar riff. Life as We Don’t Know It brings forth squealing guitars and an eerie piano loop to tell the story of a near-drowning. 

But it’s through these experiences that Torres grasps onto all her life has to offer even tighter. Artificial Limits is a call to let go of any preconceptions on what you can or can’t achieve and push for your dreams during our limited time on this Earth. The wonderfully strange Jerk into Joy conjures up a clattering, catchy rhythm for a mix of spoken word and beautifully sung lyrics that finds her deciding to dance, even when “the light goes out.” 

When Scott was a child, a family friend told her, “God never asked us to be happy,” a harmful sentiment that had a big impact on her. On What an Enormous Room though, she’s choosing happiness for herself, finding joy in her life with her wife, in her friends, and in her creativity. Even when pain and loss rear their heads, Scott isn’t getting weighed down. She’s facing those experiences and still dancing forward into joy.