Released to rapturous applause back in February in the States, we in the UK were only able to get our hands on a copy (without importing from foreign lands) of Georgia-via-Nashville-via-NYC troubadour Mackenzie Scott's - aka Torres' - eponymous debut full-length relatively recently.

However, despite the fact many of us had heard it via streams or scattered across the web months ago, it's no less affecting. We were so impressed we slapped a big fat 9/10 on it: "This is a fantastic record. It courses through your veins like frost, sending restless shivers up your spine, and there's little you can do to stop it - even the most Grinchian hearts will shatter like sugarglass during the duration of Torres."

Between resting and sightseeing during a splattering of UK dates, including an album launch party at Rough Trade East, we catch a few minutes with Scott. "It's a little bizarre having these songs still feel fresh to so many 'cause to me they're so old," she says with a hint of confusion. "I mean even when I released it originally I'd had some songs for like three years. I'm really ready to move on to the next record, but I can't do that yet because there are so many people who haven't heard this one!" It's true, many people haven't heard it - especially this side of the Atlantic, where hard copies have only hit the shelves in recent weeks. "For a lot of people it's still new. Some people have been following it for months - every crowd is different, and every city is different. It seems like people are more enthusiastic here in Europe. I dunno if that's actually true or just my whimsical 'grass is greener' viewpoint."

Only last year did Torres become Scott's main focus, after graduating from Belmont University in Tennessee. "I wrote it in college in between classes, in classes, after classes, in the middle of the night... It took like four years to write, but the recording process only lasted five days. It was done in Franklin, during the summer of 2012 and recorded live, straight to tape. The process was very chilled." Given that the album was made so long ago, it's strange we got Torres so late in the year afterwards. Clearing up the release date reasonings, Scott's remarkably candid. "I waited until I was done with school, until I was in a place where I could tour straight after. It was good I waited. I wasn't ready emotionally to tour the world. I just wasn't mature enough yet." That may well be the case, but you wouldn't think it listening to her record.

"All the songs were based on real life," Scott explains. "It might not be something that's big for others, but it's all important for me. Everyone's personal experience is big for them, I guess. The entire record was made from things personal to me." It's a startling statement considering the amount of references to death, suicide and loss, especially on tracks like 'Waterfall'. Thankfully, she's able to clear that up. Laughing, she elaborates on her previous points: "A lot of it is metaphors! A lot of the imagery is amplified or hyperbolic in order to convey emotions that I wanted, or to express feeling that can only be expressed in such an exaggerated way. It all came from the experience of personal emotions and all of that, but the circumstances like taking your life are more storytelling elements than literal facts."

Those intense emotions have resonated with a throng of critics, but Scott was flabbergasted (what an underused word) at the amount of eyes bawling over her songs of sorrow. "I didn't think it would get much attention at all!" That's not faux-humbility (not a word) speaking. She's genuinely, and pleasantly, surprised. "I was hoping the few that heard it would like it, but I didn't expect it to be so well received! It's not been an overnight thing, but more and more people are hearing it as time goes one and they've had really kind things to say."

During the creation of Torres, Scott indulged herself in other's music - some are obvious choices, some not so much. "The writing took four years so I went through quite a variety of acts on my playlist in that time. There have been a lot... Nirvana. Bryan Adams. Fleetwood Mac Johnny Cash... It was exclusively St. Vincent at the actual time of the recording though. It wasn't intentional, but when I get obsessed with a band or singer or album or song I tend to wear it out." Scott's own LP must have been one of those she was obsessing over (well, duh, but anyway...): "I haven't actually listened to [the record] this year! I was kinda done with it when I released it..." She goes on to divulge her favourite moment. "'November Baby' features my friend Natalie Prass doing vocal harmonies in the chorus, and that was really special. I'd been a fan for such a long time, and we became close friends in Nashville. I was honoured to have her sing. She's the only guest on the record as well."

Scott's record was crafted primarily in Nashville, a city famed for many legends in the industry. Obviously it's steeped in musical history, but is that still the case? "It's good, depends on what you wanna do though. It was a great scene for me to be in and it helped me grow into where I am now. There are different pockets of musicians like many cities: there's this 'old country' pocket where people pump out real classic country songs like the good ol' days. There's 'nu-country', who are spending loads of money to get the absolute best equipment and absolute best producers to make the most slick, polished music humanly possible. There's a great garage-punk scene which I what I love. I was never cool enough to play in it, though I wanted to, but loads of what I was inspired by happened there. There's an acoustic-folk-Americana-singer-songwriter stuff scene which is more where I fit into... well I did at the beginning when I was starting out. I'd just play my guitar and sing at coffee shops. Nashville's great."

Now that the live jaunt is winding down and Scott's sufficiently distanced from the (initial) release of Torres, plans are surely underway for phase two of her career. She's slightly more guarded now, perhaps not willing to give too much away at this juncture. "There's nothing recorded, but I'm in the process of writing when I have time..." She says. "I've not taken much of break from being on the road since I put Torres out yet, so It's been challenging to write over the past few months. I'm gonna take some downtime after this EU tour. I'll hopefully have something to show this time next year! Fingers crossed." Fingers crossed indeed. Fingers crossed also that we in the UK receive it next year too.


Torres' new single 'Honey', and self-titled album, are out now.