It would be great if life were full of simple binaries, if we all knew exactly where everybody stood on the axis of good and evil—if there were an axis of good and evil period. But the reality is that life does not work this way, and feelings are complicated, and it's totally possible to both care about someone and hate them, to be mad at them and empathize with them, to realize that you're being a dick and still resent them for the way they are treating you. It is possible for someone to be completely, utterly, devastatingly wrong about something and still be a good person, just as it is possible for them to be fundamentally right about something and kind in general and still incredibly hurtful toward one person in particular. Sorry, literally everyone, but you are included in this pattern.
In the midst of all those shades of gray is also the reality that you might have occasion to run into some of the people in your life toward whom you are currently embroiled in some form of these complexities. You will find yourself exchanging, in the terminology of Torres, the Brooklyn-via-Nashville artist, "strange hellos." This, once again, is just how things are. It is neither good nor bad. It is almost definitely going to be confusing.
If there is one thing that Torres showed herself capable of on her self-titled debut in 2013, though, it was articulating the strange gut-punch feelings of uncertainty that come with significant moments of human failure, particularly on that album's highlight, "Honey." There, some "ghost crawled inside [her] guitar" to rip out the feelings that couldn't quite materialize. On "Strange Hellos," the guitar is heavier, and the uncertainty is just as present. The song starts out with just vocals over a few spare notes: "Heather I'm sorry that your mother / diseased in the brain / cannot recall your name / Heather I dreamt that I forgave / but that only comes in waves / I hate you all the same." It explodes into distortion-filled riffs that wrap up all that mess and confusion and eventually spit out a small concession: "I love you all the same." Uncertainty is hard, feelings are hard—everything is hard—but that's OK. That's normal. And it makes for great music. This could basically pass for a Nirvana song, and, good and evil binaries aside, we can all agree that Nirvana is Good, right? "Strange Hellos" is on Torres's upcoming album Sprinter, which takes a heavier turn in general and which I will leak exclusive information on by noting that it sounds pretty damn great.
Anyway, Sprinter is out May 5 on Partisan, and she is also going on tour this spring (dates below). She will probably also become crazy popular this summer and be a "top act to watch at SXSW," so go ahead and start watching her now. Not only will you save yourself from clicking through some slideshow down the line, you will get to hear this amazing song:
Torres Tour Dates:
1/30 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Night Bazaar
3/17-22 - Austin, TX - SXSW
5/6 - Nashville, TN - The Stone Fox
5/8 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
5/9 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk - inside
5/11 - Scottsdale, AZ - Pub Rock Live
5/12 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
5/13 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
5/15 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
5/16 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
5/17 - Vancouver, BC - Electric Owl
5/20 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry
5/21 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
5/22 - Detroit, MI - UFO Factory
5/23 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
5/31 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
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