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Torres: Five Essential Tori Amos Songs

Torres (photo by Ashley Connor, PR)

Torres (photo by Ashley Connor, PR)


[August 2018 update: As Tori Amos celebrates her birthday on August 22, FUV returns to Torres's list of her "Five Essential Tori Amos Songs." Amos has four albums named in NPR's listener poll for "Turning the Tables: 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women." And Torres, singer MacKenzie Scott, is also on NPR's list for "The 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women" for "Sprinter." She has a new single out, called "Gracious Day."]

As an adopted child raised in Georgia, brought up on the teachings of the Baptist church, Mackenzie Scott, who records as Torres, was filled with questions and an inner quest. She now articulates those quandaries via frank songs, as on her 2012 eponymous debut, that are coiled with sensuality, aching incredulity, and abrasive absolutions.

Her second album, 2015's Sprinter, was an eruption of familial reckonings, mortality, and spiritual struggles via revelations like "The Exchange." In her guise as Torres, Scott has never shied from excavating the intimate details of her life. As she looks ahead to releasing her third album, Three Futures, on September 29, 2017 via 4AD, her artistic confidence has only buttressed her boldness and resolve.

Scott, who was only a year old when Tori Amos, a minister's daughter, released her monumental 1992 solo debut album, Little Earthquakes. Today, the Brooklyn-based musician counts this week's FUV Essentials artist as a revered influence, an integral key to her youth and songwriting. In fact, Scott was so overwhelmed to meet Amos, that she tweeted out a photo of their first encounter earlier this month, simply captioning it: "Shaking."

FUV asked Scott if she could write about the "Five Essential Tori Amos Songs" that still make her tremble today:

Torres: Five Essential Tori Amos Songs

"Winter," Little Earthquakes (1992)
One of the saddest songs I've ever heard.

"Icicle," Under the Pink (1994)
This is where I learned about masturbation.

"Little Earthquakes," Little Earthquakes
I've always felt that Tori Amos originated her own language, especially regarding resilience and fragility. In this song she's taken humanity's macrocosm of pain and its complexities and extracted only what she needed from it.

"Precious Things," Little Earthquakes
Primal and perfectly blasphemous. This is one of the best pop songs ever written.

"Silent All These Years," Little Earthquakes
Piano melody to crack your heart open. "Sometimes I hear my voice and it's been years." No one has ever said it like she can.

- Torres's Mackenzie Scott
August 2017

Read all of FUV's Five Essential Albums and Songs.