Anna Burch

Quit the Curse

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Previously known for participating in folk-rock group Frontier Ruckus and co-leading indie pop quartet Failed Flowers, Michigan-based songwriter Anna Burch steps out into the spotlight with her excellent full-length solo debut, Quit the Curse. Several of these songs had previously appeared on limited cassettes, including a split EP with Stef Chura, but here they're given fresh, hi-fi studio production. Burch's voice was somewhat obscured in her previous bands, but here her vocals are resoundingly clear, and her lyrics are sharp and direct, sometimes to a startling degree. She expresses concern and frustration with friends who are constantly indifferent or have trouble connecting with their emotions, but she has similar issues to deal with herself. On opener "2 Cool 2 Care," she's given up even thinking about finding true love, and on the more upbeat "Tea-Soaked Letter," she lets her true colors show and ends up making a scene and embarrassing herself. The slowly simmering "Asking 4 a Friend" arrives at a heavier chorus proclaiming "I think it's suspect you ever feel lonely at all." Her straightforward expressions of social anxiety are all too relatable, and the songs are easily memorable without being earworms. Like Chura, Burch's songs have enough lightly fuzzy guitars to recall some of the more accessible grunge and alternative rock produced during the '90s, but without sounding too derivative and ending up an exercise in nostalgia. "Belle Isle" is slower and closer to moonlit country-pop, with pedal steel guitar and an echoing glow on Burch's vocals. The album ends with one of its best songs, "With You Every Day," which sways softly but finds release with a simple but powerful wordless chorus.

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