Roman Candle Presents Anna Burch
Roman Candle is excited to welcome Anna Burch to St Mary's Creative Space, Chester. Special guest Patchwork Guilt.
Sunday 22nd July, 7.30PM. Tickets £10 Advance from Grey n Pink Records or SEE Tickets.
Through the deceptively complex pop of Quit The Curse marks the debut of Anna Burch, it’s anything but the green first steps of a fledgling new artist. The Detroit singer/songwriter has been visible for the better part of her years-long-career singing in Frontier Ruckus, or more recently co-fronting Failed Flowers, but somewhere a vibrant collection of solo material slowly began taking form.
Growing up in Michigan, her fixation with music transitioned from a childhood of Disney and Carole King sing-along's to more typically angsty teenage years spent covering Bright Eyes and Fiona Apple at open mic nights. By 18 she was deep into the lifestyle of the touring musician,juggling all the regular trials and changes of young life while on a schedule that would have her gone for months on end.
After a few whirlwind years of this, exhausted and feeling a little lost, she stepped away from music completely to attend grad school in Chicago. This respite lasted until 2014 when she moved to Detroit and found herself starting working earnest on solo songs she’d been making casual demos of for a year or so. Friends had been encouraging her to dive into solo music,and one particularly enthusiastic friend, Chicago musician Paul Cherry, went so far as to assemble a band around scrappy phone demos to push for a fully realised album.
“Writing songs that I actually liked for the first time gave me a feeling of accomplishment,”Burch said,“Like, I can do this too! But working with other musicians and hearing the songs go from sad singer/songwriter tunes to arranged pop songs gave me this giddy confidence that I’d never felt before.”
The process was drawn out and various drafts and recordings came and went as the months passed. By now Anna was playing low key shows and d.i.y. tours solo and had released some early versions of a few songs on a split with fellow Detroit musician Stef Chura. Even at a slow, meticulous pace, with every step the album took closer to completion, it felt more serious and more real. After a more than a year of piece meal recording sessions, Anna was introduced to engineer Collin Dupuis (Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen) who helped push things energetically home, mixing the already bright songs into a state of brilliant clarity.
The nine songs that comprise Quit The Curse come on sugary and upbeat, but their darker lyrical themes and serpentine song structures are tucked neatly into what seem at first just like uncommonly catchy tunes. Burch’s crystal clear vocal harmonies and gracefully crafted songs feel so warm and friendly that it’s easy to miss the lyrics about destructive relationships, daddy issues and substance abuse that cling like spiderwebs to the hooky melodies.
The maddeningly absent lover being sung to in “2 Cool 2 Care”, the crowded exhaustion of “With You Every Day” or even the grim, paranoid tale of scoring drugs in “Asking 4 A Friend” sometimes feel overshadowed by the shimmering sonics that envelop them.
“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.”
Emerging from years spent as a supporting player, Quit The Curse stands as a liberation from feeling like Burch’s own songwriting voice was just out of reach — an opportunity, finally, for the world at large to hear what’s been on her mind for quite a while.
Patchwork Guilt was born in a bedroom in Bristol in 2014, through the late-night tinkerings of songwriter/producer Phoenix Mundy. Using a minimal bedroom setup she has recorded a eclectic mix of hazy, ethereal pop, spanning three albums and gaining mentions in the likes of BBC Introducing, Indie Shuffle and Spotify's 'Fresh Finds' playlist.
She formed a live band - Patchwork Guilt and the Boyfriend Material - in 2017, with Paul Humphrey (guitar), Tom Miller (bass) and Kiefer Duffy (drums). They perform regularly in the North West where they are based, focusing on the heavier, more guitar-driven corners of her music.