Anna Burch – Quit the Curse

A record full of catchy pop tunes and little curveballs, Anna Burch's Quit the Curse is a mature, confident debut

Album Review by Andrew Gordon | 01 Feb 2018
  • Anna Burch – Quit the Curse
Album title: Quit the Curse
Artist: Anna Burch
Label: Polyvinyl / Heavenly
Release date: 2 Feb

Anna Burch sings clearly and with conviction, perhaps in defiance of the folks in her life who tiptoe around their feelings and don’t say what they mean. She begins her debut record by calling out a stoic acquaintance who’d rather guzzle booze and scrounged pills than be open with her. Later, when perhaps the same someone resolves to communicate better, she’s skeptical; 'So what, will you send me a tea-soaked letter?' she sings, and you can practically hear her eyes roll above the breezy pop-rock guitar.

Burch’s tendency to read more critically into emotions and behaviours than your average first-time solo artist speaks to her considerable resumé as a songwriter. Burch spent five albums with cult folk outfit Frontier Ruckus scrutinising the convoluted emotional tennis of relationships while also performing in Failed Flowers with fellow Michigan-based overthinker Fred Thomas. Her own music isn’t dissimilar to the fuzzy, melody-driven rock she played with Flowers, but it’s brighter and more refined and draws upon her home state’s doo-wop and soul lineage.

The two singles, 2 Cool 2 Care and Tea-Soaked Letter, are the kind of tight, catchy pop tunes that colonise your brain between repeat listens, while anti-breakup song What I Want subverts the pop playbook thanks to Burch’s remarkably level-headed approach to her subject matter. 'Isn’t it nice to have a little bit of closure?' she remarks about a recent severed tie, before adding, 'I want to be nice to you'. A record full of similar little curveballs, Quit the Curse is a mature, confident debut.

Listen to: Tea-Soaked Letter, 2 Cool 2 Care