|Anna Burch — Quit The Curse (Feb 2, 2018)
Anna Burch — Quit The Curse (Feb 2, 2018) •♠• Někdy se pomeranč musí hezky oloupat zubama. Quit the Curse zní jako album umělce, který konečně ví, kam jde. Burch spoléhá na lehké popové melodie a jemnou psychedelii, aby zesílila dojem tónické obtížnosti a lásky vetkané donitř písní. Je to známý zvukový styl, někdy znepříjemňující dojem z jejích skladeb a způsobující pocit rozmazanosti, podobné nízkým kvalitativním výsledkům polaroidového obrazu. “Je to o tom, že máš prokletý milostný život,” říká Burch se smíchem. Inspirovaná umělkyněmi jako Angel Olsen a Cate le Bon. Ale stále si říkám, co blbnete, jak této solidní písničkářce můžete přidělit pouze 6.8? Můžu si dovolit dát bod navíc, už jenom kvůli melodice a těžce definovatelnému rukopisu, který pokládá lehkou náplast na nedávnou ztrátu Dolores O´Riordan. Tak to už prostě v hudbě chodí a pomeranče přece máme rádi. Location: Detroit, Michigan
Album release: Feb 2, 2018
Record Label: Polyvinyl Record Co.
01. 2 Cool 2 Care 3:50
02. Tea~Soaked Letter 3:40
03. Asking 4 a Friend 3:53
04. Quit the Curse 2:53
05. Belle Isle 3:37
06. In Your Dreams 3:29
07. What I Want 4:21
08. Yeah You Know 2:58
09. With You Every Day 4:17
℗ 2018 Polyvinyl Record Co.
•♠• 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. The Detroit singer~songwriter has been visible for the better part of her years~long career singing in Frontier Ruckus, or more recently co~fronting Failed Flowers, but somewhere along the way a vibrant collection of solo material slowly began taking form.
•♠• Growing up in Michigan, Burch’s 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. By 18 she was deep into the lifestyle of the touring musician, juggling all the regular trials and changes of young life while on a schedule that would have her gone for months on end.
•♠• After a few whirlwind years of this, exhausted and feeling a little lost, she stepped away from music completely to attend grad school in Chicago. This respite lasted until 2014 when she moved to Detroit and found herself starting work in earnest on solo songs she’d been making casual demos of for a year or so. Friends had been encouraging her to dive into solo music, and one particularly enthusiastic friend, Chicago musician Paul Cherry, went so far as to assemble a band around scrappy phone demos to push for a fully realized album.
•♠• “Writing songs that I actually liked for the first time gave me a feeling of accomplishment,” Burch said, “Like, I can do this too! But working with other musicians and hearing the songs go from sad singer~songwriter tunes to arranged pop songs gave me this giddy confidence that I’d never felt before.”
•♠• The process was drawn out and various drafts and recordings came and went as the months passed. By now Burch was playing low key shows and d.i.y. tours solo and had released some early versions of a few songs on a split with fellow Detroit musician Stef Chura. Even at a slow, meticulous pace, with every step the album took closer to completion, it felt more serious and more real. After a more than a year of piecemeal recording sessions, Burch was introduced to engineer Collin Dupuis (Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen) who helped push things energetically home, mixing the already bright songs into a state of brilliant clarity.
•♠• 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.
•♠• “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. Review
by Nina Corcoran ⌊ Feb. 3rd, 2018 ⌋ Score: 6.8
•♠• On her solo debut, the Detroit singer~songwriter cuts with her folk~rock past and turns to 1960s~indebted indie pop and 1990s~schooled alt~rock hooks.
•♠• The indie~pop musician Anna Burch was born for the spotlight; it just took several attempts to get there. After singing in the folk~rock band Frontier Ruckus, co~fronting the indie~rock act Failed Flowers, and joining other Michigan projects in her spare time, the Detroit singer-songwriter makes her solo debut with Quit the Curse, a record of wry one~liners and moody indie pop. Every track on the record is marked by fuzzy guitar hooks and 1960s~flavored girl~group harmonies — a bold step forward from her folk background.
•♠• The years Burch spent performing in bands — learning to complement a fellow guitarist’s melody, blending her voice with other singers, and other quintessential hive~mind tricks — have clearly guided her along the way to becoming her own bandleader. A song like “Tea~Soaked Letter” gives the illusion that she’s a naturally gifted songwriter: Guitar strums descend in a satisfying progression, vocal harmonies never falter, and every melody feels familiar yet fresh. According to Burch, however, it’s been a process of revision and relearning, as she never properly studied songwriting until her late twenties.
•♠• Burch is at her best when she tries her hand at what sound like alt~rock singles from the 1990s. Like Juliana Hatfield and Liz Phair, Burch has a knack for complex chord changes and personable delivery, the kind that tempts you to blast her music in the car as an inexpensive form of therapy. That’s particularly true of the malaise~ridden “Asking 4 a Friend,” a drug~dealer love story that nods to the Lemonheads’ “My Drug Buddy.” The snarky annoyance and dissonant guitar give her deadpan delivery an extra push. On opener “2 Cool 2 Care” and closing ballad “With You Every Day,” Burch tackles vintage beach~pop in the vein of Alvvays. Even as she doubles down on guitar and vocal tricks, Burch avoids over~saturating her carefree pop songs.
•♠• Even as Burch reinvents herself, she doesn’t entirely let go of her folk~rock past, particularly on the album’s second half. Though soothing, a half~baked guitar chord progression in “What I Want” and the ambling pedal~steel whine in “Belle Isle” sound dull when compared to her sharper hooks. Burch has admitted that a handful of the songs felt “stiff and stilted” when she demoed them. That’s why she sent them to engineer Collin Dupuis — his work with Angel Olsen and Lana Del Rey got Burch's attention — who gave her tips for re~recording them. But some songs, like the title track, still don’t sound particularly lively.
•♠• Come the end, Quit the Curse reveals itself to be a window to watching a songwriter grow. Singing about unfulfilled romantic desires, she packs in enough self~awareness to mock the melodramatic format. Distinguished by her sure~footed stride, Quit the Curse sounds like an album by an artist who at last knows where she’s going. •♠• https://pitchfork.com/
By Laura Stanley
Published Jan 31, 2018 ⌋ Score: 7
Agent: UK/EU, Erin Coleman, Paper and Iron Booking,
|Anna Burch — Quit The Curse (Feb 2, 2018)