Being a singer-songwriter takes grit. Anna Burch is there, she's got the goods. Debut Quit The Curse lays it bare. It spills her guts and really puts it across. Love and heartache delivered with deadpan emotion somewhere between joy and hopelessness. When she’s not occupied pouring her heart out, Burch slides between realms of catchy rock and daydreaming slacker fantasy.
‘2 Cool 2 Care’ is her masterwork. Burch extends an unhurried invitation into her headspace, but its doubled against a second prong of sugared vocals and expressive guitar lines. The Ronettes’ 'Be My Baby' drum figure – kick, kick-kick, snare, repeat – doesn’t hurt either, conjuring a dreamy syrup of nostalgic feel.
Burch feeds from threads of indie and rock but there's also a country twang which comes to fore with 'Belle Isle'. She can leap into sweetly elated heights and crumple into indifference in a moment. Wandering through a world coloured by jaded weariness and hapless romanticism, 'In Your Dreams' sprawls into surreal heartache and enveloping swirls of instrumental textures. The drug-damaged fallout of 'Asking 4 a Friend' flushes with the frustration of sorrowful hindsight. A moody evocation it kindles intensity, a slow-motion car crash set to song.
Quit The Curse documents the struggle to jettison all that is toxic. “I won’t play the victim/Just because I can’t get what I want” Burch implores on “What You Want” but by closer “With You Every Day” she’s again circling about in a giddy flush. A testament to her subtle emotionalism there’s a sharp-edged feeling to this hard-won contentment. A barb of anger belays the devotional tone as if to suggest that the cycle is poised to begin anew. Burch’s songs sketch an interface between redemptive love and joyous pessimism so contradictory they’re too beautiful to ignore.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
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