Torres remains unpredictable. It's no paltry thing, half a decade into the acclaimed, if understated, career of a certified indie queen. She entered onto the scene as jarring, refreshing new voice on her self-titled debut, in the class of brutally raw singer-songwriter that'd make PJ Harvey proud. If anything, the follow up, Sprinter, only saw her dive deeper into loudness and confrontational spirits, earning new fans and discomforting some early followers in the same assured gesture. Nonetheless, it made sense as an evolution and seemed to lay out a clear path before her, a solid niche in which to comfortably climb.

Naturally, Three Futures is a complete dismissal of all that. The fear and anger seem to largely be gone, consumed in something of a weathered confidence. The cover says plenty: the formerly distant, anything but sexualized, now very blond singer appears topless under a jacket, staring down her audience, a nude lover visible in the mirror behind her. In short, she seems to have taken to her relative fame quite well. Likewise, the music is now lush where once it was loud, layered and thoughtful where it was immediate.

Album opener ‘Tongue Slap Your Brain Out’ starts things off broadly, seeming to address something of a father figure, but things quickly move on to a sexual and personal struggle in ‘Skim’, as she again takes on her career in the spotlight: “There's no unlit corner of the room I'm in.” This is music as a power play. Torres may joke when she sneers, “I'm more of an ass man,” on ‘Righteous Woman’, but the remark somehow encapsulates much of her ethos on Three Futures. Never songs of victimhood, this seems to be an album for her victims, never moreso than on the blistering, quietly devastating title track; “You didn't know I saw three futures: one alone, and one with you; and one with the love I know I'd choose.” That’s the sort of line that requires repeating in full. It stays with you, speaking to all of us. In that moment when something meant to last simply isn't going to, but one isn't ready to admit that just yet, to their lover, or even to themselves outside of slight, shameful moments, stealing glances at others they'd rather be with, for those moments, Three Futures is there.

Torres has said quite a bit about philosophy and great writers influence on her music and this album in particular, but in the end, it’s the simple humanity of the proceedings that shine through. For all her clear wit and thoughtfulness, she is still fleeing the mess of self, much like any of us. When she bemoans a hurtful lover, and a body “far too willing,” anyone can relate. So long as her songwriting remains so crushingly honest, we will always have an entry into the proceedings, regardless of how many murky layers of poetry she coats them in. Therein lies the ultimate power here.