In the first video from her upcoming album, Torres
is seen wearing a suit and playing her electric guitar as she walks through a typical suburban house - well, typical except for the fact that anonymous women are hidden throughout the house, reaching to touch Torres wherever she goes. The video for "Skim" is basically what the album cover for Torres' upcoming album, Three Futures
, would look like if it came to life. On the album cover, Torres wears the same suit without a shirt, and sits on the same couch in the same living room seen in the video. She sits with her legs spread wide and glares at the camera, unfazed.
Everything Torres has been doing lately, from her music videos to her album cover to her songwriting, subverts the typical structures of power and control. The suit she wears is a symbol of power, often associated with men in high positions. Her pose on the album cover calls upon the infamous term, "manspreading," referring to the epidemic of men spreading out and taking up space in crowded public spaces like subways. Even as she sings about insecurities, she is unapologetic in the way she takes up space and stares intensely and directly.
As she says in an interview for i-D
, "We should absolutely be taking up more and more and more space, and not asking for it." Through her imagery and music, Torres is working to empower those typically marginalized groups - anyone who isn't a straight, white male - to take up space just as comfortably and easily as those guys on the subway. She continues in her interview to say "Regardless of who you are, we've each been given a body, and that body occupies space, and that body is going to die eventually and then we won't have it anymore."
In her latest single and video, "Helen in the Woods," released last week, Torres explores the dark side of love and infatuation that can turn into obsession and stalking. While the Hollywood image of obsessed stalker is usually the male serial killer, Torres switched up this typical narrative in a way that she figured would be more interesting, having the deranged stalker be a woman instead.
Beyond her progressive, subversive themes, Torres is just straight up good
at what she does. Her songs and videos don't just rest on her ideas about power and control - songs like "Three Futures" show her ability to create just the right mood with her melodies and to evoke complex emotions with her lyrics. One of the best things about Torres' music is her voice; it's interesting in that it doesn't really fit the trendy indie-voice stereotype. Whether she's bordering on yelling or singing softly, it sounds like raw emotion. Her third album Three Futures
comes out this Friday, September 29 via 4AD. With her large goals of starting an unapologetic movement and the strength of her songwriting, Three Futures
should be something special.