A Conversation With Molly Burch
Interview By Erica Tello
Molly Burch evokes an emotive, introspective energy that continues to be relatable for her listeners. Being affectionate for jazz music in college and pop music as a young girl, her sound is unique to the indie-pop scene. Opening for Courtney Barnett and Grizzly Bear over the past year and with an upcoming world tour, Burch continues to make her strides as an artist.
The Los Angeles native is now based in Austin, Texas where she calls home. This October, Burch releases her sophomore album, First Flower. She’ll perform a few special sets in Austin at Waterloo Records, Antone’s with Japanese Breakfast, and finally at Austin City Limits before her tour officially kicks off. Inspired by confidence and empowerment over anxiety, Burch tells tales of her realities of love and life on this record.
What’s something you really hope drives home for the audience of your second album, ‘First Flower’? Is there a message or story that you hope resonates?
I hope people enjoy it and find it relatable. I wrote this after I released my first album and toured a lot. This was the first time I was dealing with the aftermath. of a lot of life changes after moving to a small city outside of Austin. I wrote a lot about anxiety, and I hope people can relate to that.
Who or what were your inspirations for this album?
I was inspired by moving to a small town. I was feeling isolated. I’ve never been in that situation before. It was inspiring itself to have all of this time to work and create music.. I wanted to talk a lot about more personal stuff, but also I wanted the vibe of the record to be positive, fun and less somber than the first one.
I greatly connect with your single, ‘Candy’ because it feels like it gravitates towards anxieties that we all do with especially as women. How did you cope with overcoming these anxieties as a performer?
Thank you! I still struggle, but I think just like pushing yourself to do it and getting more experience. With time, I have just become more comfortable with performing. Pushing myself to do it while facing that fear and realizing I can do it. I still get nervous sometimes, but for the most part I have a handle on that.
I love the woman in the artwork for the latest singles. Is there a story behind the artwork?
Thanks so much! I appreciate you saying that. It’s art by one of my best friends since middle school in Los Angeles, Sascha Stannard. She did all of the artwork for my first album also. She does a lot of nude figures overall.. She painted a beautiful landscape for the insert. For the credit page, it’s a lot of naked women which felt like the perfect way to represent the songs. It’s very vulnerable, beautiful and female-focused.
‘Wild’ is such a gorgeous song lyrically and vocally. I’m curious to know what that song is about and what it means to you to say ‘I wish I were a wilder soul’?
That song has a few meanings. That one is about feeling trapped with anxiety and wanting to idolize other people. The chorus is wishing you didn’t have anxiety and being free of that. It’s also about not comparing yourself to others and thinking they don’t have anxiety.
I read you dreamt of being a pop star and Mariah Carey was a great influence. What about women in the pop scene were you drawn to?
I would pretend I could sing like them growing up. I think I liked seeing a woman on stage singing. When I started to sing, I felt like I had a certain type of voice that I could sound like them.
Where’s a place you feel the most energy to create art and write songs?
I feel like it has to be where I live. My sentiment is rooting me back to Austin. It’s the perfect place to feel at home. When I write, I have to be alone at home and just comfortable. Austin is that for me.
Being based in Austin, I would love to know what your favorite things are about Austin?
There’s so many things. I love Barton Springs, the movie theatres like Alamo Drafthouse, Veracruz and Tyson’s for tacos and Flitch Coffee!
When I watched the film, ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ , I was thrilled to hear ‘Try’ on the soundtrack, and I’m sure you were also. How was that moment for you to have your music be in a major motion picture this year? Any other noteworthy moments happen recently?
That was super cool. I really love Nick Offerman and the whole cast. It was really cool to hear it in a theatre setting. I think the highlight of last year and a pinch-me moment was playing Moody Theatre opening for Grizzly Bear. I’ve always wanted to play there, and it was the biggest show we played. I was nervous, but it was so special.
What’s your greatest dream for your music career in the future?
It’s hard to see too much in the future. I hope we can continue to keep touring, and we can enjoy the record. I am hoping to really focus on the present right now.
It’s so timely that your record comes out during the week of Austin City Limits. Who are you excited to see while you play for the festival?
It is such good timing! I am very excited to see Sharon Van Etten play on the same stage after me in the day. Japanese Breakfast is another. Camila Cabello plays, and I love her! I am sad that we’ll be leaving for tour when she plays though. Paul McCartney is another I wish I could see.