The Best Tracks of 2015, #15

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15. Torres, “Strange Hellos”

You won’t find a more visceral record in 2015 than Torres’s astounding Sprinter. In fact there are moments more convincingly heavy than the vast majority of extreme metal I head all year. Mike Scheidt, mastermind of the heaviest band of our generation, told me once, “heavy is people.” It’s not tone, it’s not distortion, it’s not brute force. It comes from within, and Torres has absolutely made, by that definition, one of the year’s truly heavy albums. “Strange Hellos”, the opening track on the album, is a shattering song, so loaded with pain, anger, and yes, hatred. “The person that I wrote that song about represents the full spectrum of human emotion, and how we’re capable of loving and hating someone at the same time,” she told Pitchfork. “While writing that song, I was reading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing, and he writes about getting your true loves and your true hates onto the paper. Up until that point, I felt a lot of hate, and I wanted to channel that into my songwriting, but I felt like maybe I shouldn’t go that far as to say that I hated something or someone. But that book made me feel pretty fearless in a way that I hadn’t felt before, at least in my songwriting.” (Spotify) (YouTube)

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