REVIEW: Molly Burch’s “First Flower” Showcases Heartstopping Vocals and Rapid Growth as a Songwriter


First Flower, the second album by Texas vocalist and songwriter Molly Burch, highlights the singer’s professional jazz training. Following her 2017 debut, Please Be Mine, Burch and her and her bandmate Dailey Tolliver have produced a record that makes the most of her smoky, effortless vocals. Driven by Tolliver’s lead guitar, complemented by Sam Kossler’s rhythm guitar, Jason Chronis’s bass, and Matthew Shepherd’s drums, the album achieves a gentle, pleasing pop Americana sound with jazzy leanings. Adding Elizabeth Warren’s violin and viola on “Good Behavior,” rather than say, fiddle and banjo, takes this album in the right direction.

In the song “Wild,” Burch plays with the gender of characters. Burch, who has a boyfriend in bandmate Tolliver writes, “There goes my baby there she goes.” This invites the listener to ask who the narrator of the song is. Is it Burch? Is it a man or woman looking at Burch? Is it someone else entirely? Later, Burch sings, “It’s in my nature to be guarded, I wish I was a wilder soul.” This sounds like Burch making a confession, but we can’t be sure, because of the way the song is constructed, which makes it that much more interesting.

Burch’s song “To The Boys” subtly expresses a feminist message. Men often drown out women by being loud, to the point where women must raise their voices to be heard. In “To The Boys,” Burch sings, “I don’t need to scream to get my point across, I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss, That is my choice and this is my voice, You can tell that to the boys.” This is not simply a declaration for introverts. This is a declaration that she, as a woman, should not have to go toe for toe with men in their behavior. For that matter, neither men nor women should feel constrained by gender norms to engage in such behavior.

Other songs on First Flower explore Burch’s feeling’s of anxiety, which she says she experienced as she approached trying to write a second album. While the experience of writing a second album may have been daunting for Burch, the product is nothing at all to be anxious about. This album showcases Burch’s heartstopping vocals and rapid growth as a songwriter.  Find your copy here:

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