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ANNA BURCH

Anna Burch

If You’re Dreaming

    ‘If You’re Dreaming’ was tracked with producer Sam Evian in his home studio in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York. Where the first album had been a rush of inspired songwriting followed by a drawn-out process of arrangement and mixing, Burch and Evian worked with self-imposed time limitations to establish a sharper focus and get to the core of the new songs. The work was swift but somehow more relaxed, locking into a groove of tracking the basic elements and then expanding on the arrangements with overdubs and auxiliary instrumentation. The end goal was to present not just an assortment of new songs but craft an album that moved dynamically through an interconnected emotional arc.

    With recurring themes of isolation, weariness and longing, these songs deliver that emotional arc with a delicate but uncompromising execution. Burch’s intrinsically catchy songwriting dials down the urgency of her debut a notch, taking a turn towards airy, jazz-voiced chords, floating reverb and an expansion of the sonic palate with unexpected instrumentation. The soft-rock bass grooves and understated saxophone lines of ‘Not So Bad’ push an impressive pop structure into exciting new territory and the sweetly melancholic Tell Me What’s True centres around muted electric piano, its languid but metered vibe recalling the gentler side of Carole King.

    The nuance of arrangements that could sometimes get buried on debut ‘Quit The Curse’ rises to the surface on patient, opulent tunes like ‘Every Feeling’ and in the twelve-string guitar hooks of ‘Party’s Over’. The album drifts dreamily as much as it hones in with a sharper clarity on some of Burch’s most personal songs. Even at its most introverted, ‘If You’re Dreaming’ is always warm and present. It’s a deliberately drawn chapter of Burch’s work, trading in the wild-eyed and sometimes neurotic party hopping of ‘Quit The Curse’ for a more solitary walk after midnight. Daring and clear- headed, these songs cut deeper in their subtleties. ‘If You’re Dreaming’ moves with intention, taking its time revealing new layers of sophistication and growth in Burch’s always charming songcraft

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Purple vinyl.

    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    The nine songs that comprise Quit The Curse come on sugary and upbeat, but their darker lyrical themes and serpentine song structures are tucked neatly into what seem at first just like uncommonly catchy tunes. Burch’s crystal clear vocal harmonies and gracefully crafted songs feel so warm and friendly that it’s easy to miss the lyrics about destructive relationships, daddy issues and substance abuse that cling like spiderwebs to the hooky melodies. The maddeningly absent lover being sung to in “2 Cool 2 Care”, the crowded exhaustion of “With You Every Day” or even the grim, paranoid tale of scoring drugs in “Asking 4 A Friend” sometimes feel overshadowed by the shimmering sonics that envelop them. Though the deceptively complex pop of Quit The Curse marks the debut of Anna Burch, it’s anything but the green first steps of a fledgling new artist. Growing up in Michigan, her fixation with music transitioned from a childhood of Disney and Carole King sing-alongs to more typically angsty teenage years spent covering Bright Eyes and Fiona Apple at open mic nights. “To me this album marks the end of an era of uncertainty. Writing songs about my emotional struggles helped me to work through some negative patterns in my personal life, while giving me the sense of creative agency I'd been searching for.” Emerging from years spent as a supporting player, Quit The Curse stands as a liberation from feeling like Burch’s own songwriting voice was just out of reach -- an opportunity, finally, for the world at large to hear what’s been on her mind for quite a while.

    Early praise for Anna Burch's music:

    “Frank and gratifying all the same, Burch’s tightly structured pop is an invigorating take on an evergreen sound.” - Pitchfork

    “Anna Burch is a veteran of the Detroit music scene, which helps explains why “2 Cool 2 Care,” the first single from her upcoming solo debut LP, lands like an old friend. There’s an instant familiarity and warmth to it that can be partially attributed to the song’s gentle sway — all oohs and ahhs and starry-eyed romanticism — but it hits even deeper than that.” - Stereogum

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Laura says: New Heavenly Records signing Anna Burch brings us lovely, (mostly) up beat guitar-pop tempered perfectly by a slight twist of melancholy.


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