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If You're Dreaming

by Anna Burch

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Aske Brown
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Aske Brown Like reading the diary of a loved one who passed before their time. Memory for memories I've never had. A further evolution of Anna Burch's style from Quit the Curse, but no less timeless for it. This album shifts away from the more experimental/instrumental styles of Quit the Curse, and in its place more massively emphasizes Anna Burch's divine song-writing. Favorite track: Every Feeling.
steveinsocal
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steveinsocal "...Missing the "immediateness" of the jangly up-tempo indie-pop melodies of her debut, yet all the better for their omission. In truth, more nuanced, this album is instead a consummate study of the marriage of melancholic, thoughtful lyricism to gentle, melodic indie-folk pop... beguiling lyrics - haunted with self-doubt - are the focal point of the album; the accompanying sympathetically-scored soundtrack beautifully frames them…"

reclaimingthecolonies-onestateatatime.blogspot.com Favorite track: Party's Over.
Mark Neal
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Mark Neal my goodness! theres is a type of sophistication that comes from the songwriting of Anna Burch, and i find myself drifting into a new world with every song. Can't wait to hear the rest of this album
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1.
Can't Sleep 04:36
Uptight You can’t sleep at nite Nothing’s ever right till it’s gone Don’t you ever get a clue Just wanting something new It gets old Your friends don’t think that you need them Guess it all depends who’s on call Are you gonna see this through? Seems everything you do gets undone If there is someone to love Is that what you’re dreaming of?
2.
When the summer ends Baby’s got the bends Do we have to go? Could we just stay home? ‘Cause I’m so tired I’m so tired I’m so tired I’m so tired When the party is compulsory I start getting down Watch you make the rounds When did I lose your eye? Feels like I’ve lost my mind ‘Cause I’m so tired I’m so tired I’m so tired I’m so tired
3.
Jacket 03:36
She left her jacket Guess she don’t need it When you’re always keeping it warm Yeah you’re always keeping it warm You’ve been sleeping through it She won’t meet my eye Don’t tell me Don’t tell me she’s just shy She still makes you sad I can’t help with that When you’re always keeping it warm Yeah you’re always keeping it warm You’ve been sleeping through it She won’t meet my eye Don’t tell me Don’t tell me she’s just shy Found a Polaroid in the pocket Am I paranoid to believe that You were the one who took it
4.
So I Can See 03:22
Looking for a new place to go when it gets slow You say you don’t mind the routine but I get mean You’re asking “When will you come back to me?” But I gotta stay away till I know who to be What do you do on your own when I’m not home? You sleep away half of the day but it’s okay If you’re dreaming sweetly You’re asking “When will you come back to me?” But I gotta stay away till I know who to be You’re asking “When will you come back to me?” But I gotta stay away so I can clearly see You’re the thing I’m doing right You’re the thing I’m doing right You’re the thing I’m doing right Doing right
5.
Ask Me To 03:24
It’s all around me Don’t know what’s true We can’t depend on what they might do And it won’t be long before it hits Like too much wine on empty stomachs But I do what you ask me to I do what you ask me to It’s all about me You know it’s true What source of comfort am I to you? And it won’t be long before it hits Like too much wine on empty stomachs But I do what you ask me to I do what you ask me to Maybe it’s been too long Maybe you got me all wrong Baby it’s been too long Maybe I got it all wrong Baby it’s been too long Maybe you got me all wrong Baby it’s been too long Maybe I got it all wrong What I’d do if you asked me to I do what you ask me to I do what you ask me to I do what you ask me to
6.
Keep It Warm 01:40
7.
Go It Alone 03:18
After two years Think you know everyone here When you move your mouth You just bum everybody out You think you know it You think you own it You think you’ll go it alone You won’t go home Don’t even pick up the phone Let messages hang Cause corresponding’s not your thing You think you know it You think you own it You think you’ll go it alone Don’t try to make sense of this It’s in your best interest You’d know You think you know it You think you own it You think you’ll go it alone
8.
When I used to hate myself I saw things so clearly Now I can only see When the lights shine on me Don’t go I need you To tell me what is true My perspective’s skewed Don’t know what to do When I had something to prove I’d mess up then I’d move Next time I decide to leave I’m taking you with me Don’t go I need you To tell me what is true My perspective’s skewed Don’t know what to do I still fixate on my mistakes It’s getting late I’m still awake You feel so warm when I get back in bed Don’t want this to end So glad you’re my friend
9.
The beginning gets me every time I can’t help replaying in my mind As perfect strangers we look so fine You couldn’t see Till you met me It’s not so bad It’s not so bad It’s not so bad It’s not so bad What is this instinct to hate on everything Seems it’s in me badly I’m afraid I’m so much better when you’re around And I’m still here If it’s not clear It’s not so bad I take it back It’s not so bad It’s not so bad It plays in my head alone Our love is a picture show It plays in my head alone The screening’s closed It’s not so bad It’s not so bad It’s not so bad It’s not so bad If it’s revision at least it’s comforting No cataclysms in our history It came on slowly Yeah we had time
10.
Picture Show 01:07
11.
I like to look in from the other room How’d you get this good at keeping yourself amused Even if I could tell you would you hear me? We’ve commodified every feeling What’s left in my heart for me to sing that’s true? I’d sing it to you It’s gone beyond a need to get some rest You say there’s nothing wrong with idleness Even if I could read you would you believe Or does it somehow feel good being misunderstood? We’ve commodified every feeling What’s left in my heart for me to sing? We’ve commodified every feeling What’s left in my heart for me to sing that’s true? I’d sing it to you Sing that’s true I’d sing it to you So take it with you wherever you go Even if you’re not afraid of being alone Even if I could touch you would you feel me? We’ve commodified every feeling What’s left in my heart for me to sing We’ve commodified every feeling What’s left in my heart for me to sing that’s true? I’d sing it to you Sing that’s true I’d sing it to you
12.
Thought I knew how to love Now I see the distance between us You thought I was selfless Suffocating in my insistence I stood in the way You left me with a hint Wrote it out but I barely skimmed it I hope it’s not too late to recover from my mistake If it means anything I’m here with you I’m here with you I’m here with you I’m here with you Even now I get scared That’s how thoroughly I’ve been prepared Though I try to relate Not to read the fiction of our fate And it seems easy When I’m here with you I’m here with you I’m here with you I’m here with you

about

When Anna Burch introduced herself on her 2018 debut Quit the Curse, it was with a concentrated wash of energetic, serotonin-boosting pop. Jangly guitars, blithe vocal harmonies and an occasional undercurrent of grungy fuzz all converged in seemingly straightforward songs that hid their complexities under sunny hooks. The impact of the songs was immediate and exciting, presenting narratives of confusion and upheaval with melodies so bright it was hard to do anything but smile. Two years later, Burch’s follow up If You’re Dreaming takes us down a different path than its predecessor, shedding some nervous energy in favor of a deeper exploration of an internal world.

After months on the road in support of Quit the Curse, Burch disappeared for a while. The long stretches of touring had been broken up by only a few weeks off here and there, and a month spent writing in Berlin between European dates. The time she did get to spend at home in Detroit was disrupted by several unexpected housing changes, adding to the transient feelings brought on by constant touring. When things finally stabilized, Burch encamped into a slow, thoughtful and intentional writing process for what would become the second album. Days were spent playing guitar, exploring unconventional chord changes, ruminating on song structures and allowing her subconscious to wander until lyrics materialized. Though about half of the songs were already written, this time was dedicated to taking a closer look at the loose ends of three years of ideas and seeing if there were common threads that held them together.

If You’re Dreaming was tracked with producer Sam Evian in his home studio in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York. Where the first album had been a rush of inspired songwriting followed by a drawn-out process of arrangement and mixing, Burch and Evian worked with self-imposed time limitations to establish a sharper focus and get to the core of the new songs. The work was swift but somehow more relaxed, locking into a groove of tracking the basic elements and then expanding on the arrangements with overdubs and auxiliary instrumentation. The end goal was to present not just an assortment of new songs, but craft an album that moved dynamically through an interconnected emotional arc.

With recurring themes of isolation, weariness and longing, these songs deliver that emotional arc with a delicate but uncompromising execution. Burch’s intrinsically catchy songwriting dials down the urgency of her debut a notch, taking a turn towards airy, jazz-voiced chords, floating reverb and an expansion of the sonic palate with unexpected instrumentation. The soft-rock bass grooves and understated saxophone lines of “Not So Bad” push an impressive pop structure into exciting new territory, and the sweetly melancholic “Tell Me What’s True” centers around muted electric piano, its languid but metered vibe recalling the gentler side of Carole King.

The nuance of arrangements that could sometimes get buried on Quit the Curse rises to the surface on patient, opulent tunes like “Every Feeling” and in the twelve-string guitar hooks of “Party’s Over.” The album drifts dreamily as much as it hones in with a sharper clarity on some of Burch’s most personal songs.

Even at its most introverted, If You’re Dreaming is always warm and present. It’s a deliberately drawn chapter of Burch’s work, trading in the wild-eyed and sometimes neurotic party hopping of Quit the Curse for a more solitary walk after midnight. Daring and clear-headed, these songs cut deeper in their subtleties. If You’re Dreaming moves with intention, taking its time revealing new layers of sophistication and growth in Burch’s always charming songcraft.

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released April 3, 2020

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Anna Burch Detroit, Michigan

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