Torres Tells Us Why She Will Always Love New York
Our latest obsession comes in the form of badass brooding songstress, Torres. Her upcoming album Sprinter, out this May via Partisan Records, is a triumphant declaration of self-discovery and truly coming into your own skin. The Bushwick dweller, originally from a small town in Georgia, dishes all about her undying love for New York City, creating the new record and her current binge-obssesions (spoiler alert: she can’t stop listening to Kate Bush either).
Growing up in a Southern conservative background – were there ever any moments of rebellion?
I actually wasn’t rebellious at all growing up. I was a youth group kid, I played basketball, I did theatre with my school. I never really had a rebellious stage. I had my moments but nothing big.
I can definitely relate to wanting to leave small town life. What do you love about life in New York?
I’ve actually always wanted to live in New York, since I was about 14 when my parents brought me to visit New York for my 14th birthday. I spent the rest of my time in middle school, high school and college dreaming of living in New York. It’s my favorite city, I’ll probably never leave. I love all of it, even the gritty parts of it. I just love the contrast. New York just gives me this feeling that I’ve never gotten from any place. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything when I’m here. I spent all my time living in Georgia and Tennessee dreaming of living in New York because I saw it as the epicenter of everything that’s going on. This is the first place that I have lived where I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I like that it draws me out of my head…I like watching people. I’m not good with the quiet, it makes me go insane.
Where are your go-to spots in the city when you need to get out of your head?
I really love Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, especially when it was a little warmer outside. I would go almost every day and get some lunch or some coffee and read, watch people and look at the giant tree that’s in the center of the park. I really love being at home though too…I’m a major homebody and I like being in my home, surrounded by Bushwick. My dad refers to it as a third world country.
What other women in music inspire you to keep doing what you’re doing? Who are your queens?
Stevie Nicks, Brandie Carlile, Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent – that’s a massive one for me. Tori Amos, too.
Tell me about the new record – “Sprinter” is definitely one of my favorite tracks but what was the thought behind making it the title?
That song just encompassed the big themes on the record. After I wrote that song, it just felt like that was the song that was the most me. It covered a lot of my life that I really wanted to put into these songs.
What themes are the most present on this record?
The big one is that the song [“Sprinter”] really marks a transition for me from a time where I was regurgitating everything. As every child becomes an adult there’s a time where they are regurgitating everything they are hearing from their peers, their parents and their teachers. There’s a switch that happens somewhere where they start formulating their own ideas and they actually figure out what in the politics they agree with and what they don’t agree with. The big theme was actualization and becoming an adult.
What are your binge obsessions? Name something you are obsessively watching on Netflix, a song you have on repeat and a book you can’t let down.
The last show I really binge-watched was Weeds. That type of show is not usually my bag…but that one was of special interest to me. A song…how about an artist? Recently I’ve really gotten into Kate Bush. I listened to her a bit in college but I was a casual listener. More recently, when I was recording, my producer gave me the run-down. There’s so much still that’s left for me to discover. I’m trying to take it slow so I have her material to discover. I’m still pretty hung up on The Dreaming. In terms of books, I’ve been on a huge Ray Bradbury kick. Just finished reading The Martian Chronicles, it’s about that colonization of Mars by earthlings. He’s just a genius.
Where do you find your confidence to be such a badass when you perform?
My parents were always really encouraging and I think that’s not underrated at all…just having that was an initial push. I had a lot of stage fright and I spent a lot of time in high school going to a nursing home and playing my guitar, singing for the residents there. That slowly eased me out of my stage fright. I still get nervous but the more I perform, the more it helps everything.
How would you describe your style?
I realize the things that work best on me and the things that don’t work at all. I work within those walls and I like to keep those walls because that’s what makes me feel good. I like to keep it simple. I wear a lot of black and white. I’m not huge on color. I love expensive stuff but I also get most of my clothes from consignment shops. I’m not super picky either way, when I like something I know. I love Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone but I also just like to get a pack of Hanes v-necks, a pack of white and a pack of black ones, from the street corner in my neighborhood. I like to just wear those with a black blazer and a hat.