Molly Burch On Anxiety, ‘First Flower’ and Expectations
Our Rising Artist of the Week, Molly Burch, has released her second studio album, titled First Flower. To celebrate the release of the album, Burch talked to TIDAL about the steps taken between the two albums, encountering negative feelings to create and writing amongst Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
What is the time between finishing the tour for the first album and beginning the process for this record like for you as a burgeoning musician?
I think it was quite a lot. I had put out a body of work like that or really toured much, so it was a lot of new experiences. I learned a lot about myself and my habits when I was managing the tour as it progressed. Throughout all of the touring, I changed bands three times and moved to a small town just south of Austin. It was jarring to feel this overstimulation from touring and then returning to isolation, of sorts. (laughs) I don’t know if that was the best idea, but it was nice to focus with the intent or writing this next album.
With all the vulnerability and catharsis of the first album, what direction did you want to follow to create something to follow up your first album?
I feel like when I was writing Please Be Mine, I had no idea what to expect from anything really. I didn’t know how it would be received, how I would tour and all that. I was very touched how many people would come up to me at shows and says that the music was very relatable and it helped them overcome heartbreak. That gave me courage to talk about and create music about my own personal insecurities and anxiety, all the things that I felt were important to talk about. It feels good to be able to follow up that record with something strongly related to who I am, as a person.
In regards to creating in reaction to anxiety, do you feel any of that is cast aside through talking about it?
It definitely helps to have performance and writing be my mode of expression, but it’s not something that I feel can be “dealt with.” It’s a weird journey to navigate and I think I carry a lot of those feelings around, it’s not as weighted down when I’m creating, though.
I think feelings are very useful to talk about and it’s really encouraging when I know that someone is relating to. I appreciate when people respond to the music, but nothing can really get “solved” from there.
What was it like writing the album amongst the stormy conditions of Hurricane Harvey in Texas?
Ah, well, it was myself and my boyfriend, Dailey [Toliver]. It was a period of time where everyone in our town and the neighboring towns were filled with worry, sort of. It seemed like everyone had a lot of time on their hands, people were sort of trapped in their house. It wasn’t that dire, but everyone had to stick to themselves and try to remain inside, so that gave the recording process a distinct atmosphere. It helped me to bring my writing into a regiment.
Could you speak on the aspects of your creative process that you you still have to work through and what aspects you feel confident in?
Well the actual writing process and slowly revealing parts of myself in my lyrics is still tough and private, sort of. I don’t bring anything to Dailey until I’m very confident in the song. It feels natural to write the lyrics and make it work, but allowing myself to let go of anxiety to get to that comfortable place of writing is still a struggle.
I primarily write for my voice and my voice is something I’m extremely comfortable with. I’ve found embracing different characters and personalities through my music to be very liberating.
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