When you first don’t succeed, try and try again. Maybe for Anna Burch, the launch of her solo career will result in the success that evaded her previous projects Frontier Ruckus and Failed Flowers. Her debut album, Quit the Curse, is a huge step in the direction of seeing her name atop marquees across North American venues.
Filled with hook-laden, catchy indie-pop tunes and low-key, personal folk-rock / alt-country tracks, Burch channels her inner John Hughes and dissects love in all its forms. As such, Quit the Curse could be the screenplay to a modern-day version of The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink. There is, however, a lot more color in Burch’s stories. On the ’90s-influenced lo-fi alt-rocker, “Asking 4 a Friend”, for instance, she tells the tale of a drug-using couple, whose love is bound by their addiction.
“You’re not sentimental, but I’ve seen you cry
In the hotel room when were high.
So why do I feel so exposed
When I’m the one who’s more composed?”
Her clever take on relationships is further advanced on the shimmering “2 Cool 2 Care” and the upbeat “Tea-Soaked Letter”. The former with its ’50-infused bubblegum-pop melody explains how someone suffering with a mental illness can still desire to be loved. The latter, meanwhile, is a more straightforward scene regarding the expiration of a relationship and the prolonged desire to want what was.
To call Burch linear or “straightforward”, though, is far from the truth. On “Belle Isle”, she showcases her alt-country chops with a tune reminiscent of Julia Jacklin. It’s a song that would be the perfect background music to the teenager daydreaming in class about THE one. Yet for every person who wishes for Mr. or Mrs. Right, there is the other one who wants to rekindle the magic of the past, as explained on the slow-building, dreamy number “In Your Dreams”. With a touch of Veruca Salt mixed with Alvvays-esque haze, Burch revs up the infectious grit on “Yeah You Know”. Everyone can related to her lyrics about feeling uneasy in a relationship.
“I should know when I go
You will wait for me,
But it’s hard to let go
From bad memories.”
The album comes to a fitting close with The Cranberries-esque “With You Every Day”. With its slow-building, dreamy approach, the song is perfectly placed during the climax of the coming-of-age film, where our protagonist finds true love. As our heroine’s heart starts to accelerate when she hears the words she long has hoped to hear, our breaths get taken away by the enrapturing music. It’s the happy ending that we all hope to witness, and hopefully Anna Burch has found hers. At the very least, the spotlight shines brightly on the Detroit singer-songwriter and an album that will be a cult classic.
Quit the Curse is out now via Polyvinyl Records and Heavenly Recordings. Order or stream it here. Burch will be on a short tour beginning February 9th. Dates and information are available here.
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