“Burch is a trained jazz vocalist, but the music on her fine new LP First Flower elides styles, and even centuries, blurring classic country, torch-y ballads and Latin-tinged rhythms into a style that might feel Lynchian if her songs weren’t so personable and warm.”
Molly Burch burst onto the music scene in 2017 with her debut album Please Be Mine, a ten-track ode to unrequited romance that she wrote after studying Jazz Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. Please Be Mine earned praise from critics for her smoky, effortless vocals and bleeding-heart lyrics. Burch’s sophomore album, First Flower, is a walk-through her most intimate thoughts. Unlike Please Be Mine, which focused on the contentious depression of heartbreak, First Flower explores broken friendships, her relationship to her sister, and more importantly, how Burch learned to fight overwhelming anxiety. Burch is a soft-spoken, careful person who shoves her nervousness away on a daily basis. First Flower is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph. Burch’s voice is as strong and dexterous as ever, displaying her incredible range and professionalism as a vocalist. Opening track “Candy” is a swinging, playful hit, while “Wild” deals with pushing away fear. Songs like “Next to Me” and “Dangerous Place” examine failure and distance, and the title track “First Flower” is classic Burch, a simple love song that makes your skin raise with goosebumps when she breaks into the chorus. But the album’s true stand-out is “To The Boys”, a courageous, sassy fuck-you to her own self-deprecation where she learns to love all the things she hated about herself. “I don’t need to scream to get my point across/I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss,” she coos over a sparse guitar riff. “I’ve always been told my whole life to speak up,” explains Burch. “I needed to embrace that and not care what people think.” The album closes with “Every Little Thing”, a haunting, airy ballad that sounds like something Judy Garland would have sang while drowning her pain in pills and alcohol. First Flower is a shapely sonicstage to let Burch shine on. The composition and production carefully constructed to compliment and not over power.