“Skim” by TORRES (AKA Mackenzie Scott) is a bundle of tightly-wound nerves. Its motorized beat hits like a jab to the gut. The singer-songwriter reinforces the sensation with synth swells and distorted guitar lines. The riffs she plays stand out for how mechanical and sparse they sound. Then there’s her voice, calm and collected until her desire and emotions break through. “There’s no unlit corner of the room I’m in/I’m only the skim of what has already been,” she sings.
As Scott said on NPR about the song, “It’s basically about exploring all the dark corners of the mind and of the subconscious, and making sure that you’re not fooling yourself, you’re not hiding from yourself. There’s nothing worse than being unaware of what’s inside your own head, inside your own spirit.”
From the opening click to the high-strung guitar solo at the close, “Skim” brings claustrophobic confusion to the surface. As the first taste of TORRES’ third album, following the excellent Sprinter, it’s both an internalization and elevation of her sound and her soul.