Molly Burch is here to make an impression. On her charmingly-retro debut album ‘Please Be Mine’, the Austin-based songwriter says hello to the world with ten lightweight love songs that make one thing remarkably clear: we’ve got a serious singer on our hands.
The record is essentially a highlight reel dedicated to Burch’s incredible vocal range. The Captured Tracks starlet uses inflection to devastating effect here, dipping in and out of different deliveries almost as effortlessly as she crafts A-plus pop melodies.
Burch pairs her vocal prowess with a sound that bears the marks of ‘60s-era girl groups like The Shirelles and The Ronettes. Potent notes of salt-stained surf rock also soak through, most noticeably with the Beach Boys-style harmonies that are generously caked onto ‘Not Today’.
Standout cut ‘Fool’ plays like a Patsy Cline lullaby with fangs, and a sharp wit and powerful warble see Burch channel Angel Olsen on ‘Wrong For You’. Fellow singles ‘Downhearted’ and ‘Try’ are equally replay-worthy, while the gentle sway on ‘Please Forgive Me’ spins a tale of romantic burnout before flickering out in the wake of a blistering guitar solo.
Throughout, the distinctly confessional side to Molly Burch’s songwriting makes for an engaging and active listen — each song thoughtfully designed and executed, with simplistic arrangements ensuring that the spotlight remains zeroed-in on the LA-bred crooner’s ringing vocals.
This is the kind of record that can be left to play straight through without fearing the ambiance-suck of the odd filler track, and while its occasionally guilty of painting with broad strokes — losing in intimacy what it gains in accessibility and live-concert appeal— ‘Please Be Mine’ will go down as a hugely self-assured debut offering from one of indie’s most promising new acts.
Words: Noveen Bajpai
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