If you thought indie writers had gotten too heartbroken and soft lately, Anna Burch is certainly the antidote. Burch’s bitter but smart writing makes every lyric cutting while she turns her music into deep introspection on the emotions behind every word. Merging the world’s of indie-rock, folk and even some country into her mix for an important reflection on being honest and human, Burch sounds like Julia Jacklin with a bone to pick.
Burch’s ability to assemble a song piece by piece feels the most at home on “2 Cool 2 Care” as she trickles instrumentation in and out to make every section a huge dynamic punch. Burch’s almost conversational style of lyricism however is the real standout of the record, as she makes every song feel direct and sharp. “Tea-Soaked Letter” takes a much faster pace, letting guitars drive aggressively as Burch’s self-deprecating lyricism makes her music revealing and personal. The song’s monotone moments can make it feel much longer than it actually runs but Burch makes sure to really drive her finale home on more exciting hooks.
“Asking 4 a Friend” finds a subtle melancholy in Burch’s delivery, letting the subtle expanding details in the spread of guitars show her emotional depth. The track quickly dives into pointed choruses, each more bass-heavy than the last, making her angry energy feel like its growing. The punchy dynamics of “Quit The Curse” make the song, while sun-drenched guitars lay a welcoming groundwork for Burch’s more disenchanted lyrics. The utterly barebones melodies don’t matter thanks to Burch’s hypnotizing story, and her ability to use harmony and clever layering to create a stronger mood.
Burch’s country undertones ring the loudest on “Belle Isle” as her longing and hopeful happiness both embrace and subvert vintage pop. While Burhc’s words stand out so often on this record, “Belle Isle” really highlights the beauty of her soft delivery and gives a richness to the emotion behind it. “In Your Dreams” fires off riffs against its off-kilter chords with an invigorating rush of angst that completely vindicates all of its displeased verses. While the song’s dense production make so much of its second half a wondrous listen, the whole track climaxes as the guitars grind out into a wall of wailing distortion.
While Burch is filled with venom on so much of the record, she seems to grow a little on “What I Want” despite her snarky reservations. Her humour makes every line memorable and let both swinging verses and epic choruses feel emotionally poignant to what she’s actually saying. “Yeah You Know” kicks in with a hard-driving mix of guitars that somehow makes fifties’ guitar licks feel angry and new. Burch’s upset and sarcastic lyrics drive the song’s dark energy even more, to make the odder syncopation feel like expressions of her emotion. Resentment runs high on “With You Every Day” as the weight of being with someone but not growing charges Burch’s lyrics, and the evolution of the song’s sound dictates her moves towards leaving the person in question.
Words by Owen Maxwell