Mackenzie Scott needed a change after releasing two albums as Torres. Her music career was taking off, but she was constantly getting sick before and after concerts.
So she slowed down her demanding tour schedule. She started eating right. And she got back to her favorite exercise.
"I live in New York and I just started walking up and down the city," she says. "Literally up and down, up and down. Usually about 10 miles a day. I didn't make time for anything else."
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That did more than just give her legs a workout. She noticed there was a rhythm to her long walks. It seemed almost hypnotic. So she started to write songs based off that rhythm.
"Usually I write when I'm sitting still," she says. "There's just something about being in motion. It's like it gives you permission to have your brain be in motion as well."
Scott ended up writing most of the new Torres album on her 10-mile walks through the city. She called it “Three Futures.”
That new writing style has a big effect on the record. The songs are longer than her previous tracks -- sometimes seven or eight minutes long. Her guitar parts are less abrasive and almost meditative. And the whole album has a steady, midtempo rhythm.
"I wanted to make a hypnotic record," she says. "Drilling a beat and a melody until your head starts rolling off your shoulders and your eyes are in the back of your head. The effect is pretty wild."
The best example might be the closing track: “To Be Given A Body.” It’s the longest song Scott has released as Torres. She built it off a lyric she couldn't get out of her head. It became a mantra for her new focus on her health.
“'To be given a body is the greatest gift.' It kept coming back to me," she says. "I would wake up singing it, or it would float to the surface when I was lucid. At a certain point, it's like well if the song is running you over with a car you damn well better pay attention to it!"
“Three Futures” grew out of Scott’s own exercise regime. But it might get listeners moving too.
"In so many ways it's an album full of kinetic energy," she says. "There's so much movement contained within it. I think that movement really helps when taking it in."
What's the best way to experience "Three Futures?" Scott recommends listening during a long walk.
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