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Anna Burch - If You're Dreaming

  by Zena Grieg

published: 25 / 6 / 2020

Anna Burch - If You're Dreaming
Label: Heavenly Recordings
Format: CD


Introspective and minimalist second album from acclaimed Detroit singer-songwriter Anna Burch

‘If You’re Dreaming’, the second album by the Detroit singer-songwriter Anna Burch, has a stripped-back, minimalist texture, in striking contrast to the energetic, serotonin-fuelled sound of her debut album ‘Quit the Curse’. Burch completed the new record following many months of intense touring, showcasing her debut album. This new collection is more introspective and has a reflective, dreamlike quality throughout, in keeping with the title. It also demonstrates her increasing depth and range through the different musical complexions of each track. ‘If You’re Dreaming’ starts with the languid ‘Can’t Sleep’, the album also featuring two gentle instrumental interludes ‘Keep It Warm’ and ‘Picture Show’, highlighting the collective somnolent effect of the songs. Tracks to look out for include the single and her first ballad, ‘Tell Me What’s True’ (reminiscent of Carole King) ’ anchored by electric piano, with its cutting humour - “When I used to hate myself I saw things so clearly/Now I can only see when the lights shine on me”; the Byrds-like ‘Party’s Over’ with its accompanying video, an unsettling and discordant contemplation of mental and physical exhaustion; ‘Jacket’ with its restrained instrumentation subtly complementing her melancholy vocals; and the single ‘Not So Bad’ with its quiet optimism, underscored by upbeat saxophones and harmonious guitars. Recurrent themes are aimlessness, uncertainty and feeling unrooted, but the mood changes towards the second part of the album, where there is a strong drive for connection, as in ‘Every Feeling’, where Burch’s emotionally intelligent lyrics give the song an extra dimension - “We’ve commodified every feeling” - and the lyrics move the collection towards a more hopeful direction – “What’s left in my heart for me to sing/That’s true, I’d sing it to you.” ‘If You’re Dreaming’ concludes with ‘Here With You’ with its positive message looking to the future - ‘I’m here with you’. An album with carefully nuanced arrangements, this marks an interesting next step in Burch’s evolving musical journey. ZENA GRIEG

Track Listing:-
1 Can't Sleep
2 Party's Over
3 Jacket
4 So I Can See
5 Ask Me To
6 Keep It Warm
7 Go It Alone
8 Tell Me What's True
9 Not So Bad
10 Picture Show
11 Every Feeling
12 Here With You

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