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➤ TORRES, from p.13
make out. It also uses keyboard sounds out
of a late ‘70s Blondie or Elvis Costello song.
“Kiss the Corners” draws on ‘80s synthesizer
and drum machine presets, taking them in a
pensive direction, as she sings “you remain”
for 30 seconds. The song stands out on the
album by sticking with electronics.
In the “Thristier” video, Torres, spending the
day at the beach, emerges from a fog of distorted
colors and superimpositions to face the audience
“Don’t Go Puttin Wishes In My Head” received
an aggressively down-to-earth visual
glimpsing at the home life of Torres and her
partner Jenna Gribbon. While she’s shown
playing the guitar and even recording a demo
at her computer, the clip spends far more time
showing her making food with Gribbon. The
video brings a loving, tender eye to her relationship,
avoiding voyeurism and using editing
and video effects playfully.
Torres grew up in a conservative Christian
family in Macon, Georgia. Her earliest singing
experiences took place at church. Her
lyrics dabble with religious imagery but, in
a pattern common to queer musicians, fudge
the line between romantic partners and God.
“Thirstier” seems address to her lover, but
the opening line “you want someone to worship
you” has spiritual undertones as well.
The song returns to this motif, mixing the
carnal (“baby, keep your hands all over me”)
with further hints of the divine (“you get
hot when I show you just how devout I am.”)
“Keep the Devil Out” plays around with the
cliché “everyone wants to go to heaven, but
no one wants to die to get there.” “Hug From a
Dinosaur” suggests a future where “time and
money aren’t real and empathy is God.”
After several listens, “Thirstier” is a triumph
of production more than songwriting. It has a
meat-and-potatoes indie rock quality. Her fi rst
album for Merge Records, 2020’s “Silver Tongue”
drew from infl uences as disparate as country
and New Age music. The confi dence of “Thirstier”
fi ts much more clearly into genre lines. But
rocking out serves as a fi tting backdrop for a triumphant
return from the pandemic’s isolation.
TORRES | “Thirstier” | Merge Records | July
➤ SO PRETTY, from p.15
about trans people created by cisgender fi lmmakers.
No character is singled out and turned
into a protagonist on a quest, and its vision of
queer life strives to incorporate BIPOC as full
participants. At times, it seems overly dry, but
its heart beats loud and fast underneath.
SO PRETTY | Directed by Jessica Dunn
Rovinelli | Now streaming on ovid.tv
GayCityNews.com | JULY 29 - AUGUST 11, 2021 19