Credit: Shervin Lainez

TORRES at Union Stage

Confidence. That’s the word that comes to mind when listening to TORRES in 2021. Over the past 18 months, Mackenzie Scott, the nonbinary singer-songwriter behind the stage name, has released two albums and has spent the last month headlining a U.S. tour. Her lyrics and music have never been more self-assured than they are on Thirstier, her fifth album released in July 2021 to considerable praise. Scott’s unites music fans from across the spectrum. From straight ’90s-inspired guitar shredding on songs like “Are You Sleepwalking” to the industrial and synthpop themes present on her 2017 album Three Futures, TORRES cannot be categorized easily. An admitted superfan of musical polymath Brandi Carlile, Scott mixes numerous genres into her work. Her lyrics also bounce around from ballads like “Thirstier” to introspective tracks that defy typical alt-rock stereotypes. Queerness, anger, and religious themes permeate Thirstier as well as her live shows, but TORRES manages to weave all of it into an unforgettable combination of catchy punk-rock hooks and rousing lyrics, which D.C. residents can experience first hand on Oct. 17, when TORRES plays Union Stage with opener Sarah Jaffe. As she points out on “Keep the Devil Out:” “Expiring behind doors/ What’s your next move?/ You’ve only got time to lose.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. unionstage.com. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required. $15.