The Best Tracks of 2017, #14

14. Torres, “Three Futures”

The title track from Torres’s ambitious third album is probably the saddest song I heard in 2017. Atop a dry, morose arrangement of drum machine, ambient synths, and a carefully plucked guitar melody, Mackenzie Scott’s protagonist confronts a former lover, expressing deep resentment (“You trusted me to love your parents”), regret (“The hope I abused”), and ultimately compassion (“You didn’t know I saw three futures / One alone, and one with you / And one with the love I knew I’d choose”). It’s gut-wrenching in its melancholy, but rendered so tenderly that it ultimately feels extraordinary.