Anna Burch has been making music with other people for a while now, but along the way she’s been aching to release music under her own name. The songs that would wind up comprising her debut albu have been honed on and worked on in short recording sessions over the past year or more, and now all of that has finally come together. Burch’s debut Quit The Curse is out today via Polyvinyl Records, and it’s completely fantastic.
Quit The Curse is the perfect combination of elements that make a great, standout debut. Right away what’s immediately clear is Anna Burch’s confidence in these 9 tracks. The results of these songs sound effortless even though she’s spent a good deal of time working them out. The tightness of these songs, and how they breezily move between styles and subjects, makes the album feel like a hazy, beautiful dream. Its openness invites you in and lets you get comfortable before you start to peel back the lyrical layers that reveal the darker side.
The indie rock/pop style of Burch’s constructions will hook you in with warmth. It’s immediate too with the opening track “2 Cool To 2 Care,” whose opening strums settle you in comfortably. But under the surface of all, or most, of these songs sees Burch reckoning with her personal issues and past heartbreaks. The emotional depth of these songs passes you by at first listen, but once you dig in you get a better understanding of who Burch is, or at least who she used to be.
As Burch has said about the album’s themes:
“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.”
That striving to becoming better, both creatively and personally is the underlying narrative of the album, whether or not you realize it. Quit The Curse is an impressive debut whose tight, shimmering guitar pop sounds so fully-realized that it’s hard to not have immediately strong feelings for it. This is doubly true with Burch’s vocals, which are so effortlessly charming that you just want to hear anything and everything she has to say. Keeping the runtime at just over half an hour lets all these songs breathe, each one having something that stands out. Yet, at the end of it, you’ll want more. And it’s safe to say that we’ll be getting more great stuff from Anna Burch in the years to come.
Quit The Curse is out now and it’s easily a major highlight of 2018. Stream the entire thing right here. Also support the great Polyvinyl Records and Anna Burch herself by picking up a physical copy here.