Published Mar 31, 2020After almost a full year of extensive touring, Anna Burch is back with her sophomore effort, If You're Dreaming, a subdued collection of songs brightened by jangly indie pop guitars and Burch's wistful yet confident vocals.
Her debut album, 2018's Quit the Curse, introduced Burch's remarkable talent for energetic, sophisticated melodies and thoughtful, wryly funny lyrics. If You're Dreaming tones down the energy in favour of a more melancholy and introspective approach, yet songs such as "Not So Bad" and "Ask Me To" are just as catchy as anything she has ever written.
The album flows beautifully, with perfectly placed instrumentals "Keep It Warm" and "Picture Show" offering quiet moments to look inward, to process Burch's sharp, emotionally intelligent lyrics. In "Tell Me What's True," a lovely ballad anchored by electric piano, she boldly proclaims "When I used to hate myself I saw things so clearly," but later admits that "I need you to tell me what is true / My perspective's skewed / Don't know what to do." She sounds weary on lead single "Party's Over," negotiating with her extroverted partner, "Do we have to go? Could we just stay home? Cuz I'm so tired," certainly a relatable statement, but one that offers a window into the troubling imbalance of energy that seems to be present in the relationship she sings about.
If You're Dreaming showcases Burch's ability to communicate a wide range of feelings through her music, from the sultry melancholy of "Jacket" to the tender reassurance of album closer "Here With You." This record is perfect for closing your eyes and retreating inwards, letting Burch's dreamy melodies guide you through some afternoon introspection. (Polyvinyl)