By Alisa Pierce
Artist: Molly Burch
Album: Please Be Mine
Release Date: February 17th, 2017
Label: Captured Tracks
Molly Burch, although new to the Austin music scene, delivers a dreamy debut album that gives her a considerable boost in credibility, something that every artist in Austin’s competitive music environment would die for. Please Be Mine is moody, mellow, and heartfelt, with gut wrenching lyrics that leave lovers and loners equally sad and contemplative. However, the strong song writing of the album fails to develop a unique sound that is imperative for up-and-coming artists, and Burch’s vocals fall short similarly as they struggle to evade comparison to other artists of the area. Please Be Mine is impressive for a first timer, but perhaps not a long lasting listen in a city where a new artists pop up every day.
Individually, the tracks of the album are splendid. Each delivers heartbreaking lyrics, such as “This is the loneliest heart” and “I love you still / But I don’t know how to make you well” in tracks five and ten, titled “Loneliest Heart” and “I Love You Still”. Every song between the fifth and tenth follow the theme of heartache closely, which speaks volumes about how the theme progresses between the middle and end of the album. This is what gives Please Be Mine it’s faults. The loved and lost theme of the album is charming when the songs are listened to individually, but listening to the entire album at one time can be difficult. It can be hard to dwell in feelings of lost love for an entire album, (unless, of course, you’ve recently experienced a breakup) especially when so many artists make relationship albums. There are an abundance of heartbreak albums in every genre, but Burch’s folksy, singer songwriter sphere seems especially known for it, which causes her album to appear stale despite delivering tracks with raw and real emotion. This leaves the listener with the distinct impression that they’ve heard this tale before.
What’s more is that whatever Burch lacks in uniqueness when it comes to album themes is progressed further by her vocals. Her tone of voice in the album is mellow, relaxing and definitely beautiful, but seem too comparable to others of the area such as as Laura Gibson, Mountain Man, and Laura Stevenson. Although these artists have sounds entirely different from Burch in terms of instrumentals, their vocals (and the vocals of others) can sound strikingly similar when singing breakup ballads. It’s unknown if this is too much of the same thing pervading the Austin music scene, or if this thought was caused by Please Be Mine’s singular theme, but Burch needs to distinguish herself further from her competition. The differences between Burch and other Austin artists are apparent, such as her talent in songwriting and emotional depth, and if she focuses on separating herself from the genre she will no doubt deliver a stellar second album.