ANNA BURCH | FRED THOMAS | COMMON HOLLY
Downstairs, All Ages
DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM
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Wednesday October 17, 2018
Though the deceptively complex pop of Quit The Curse marks the debut of Anna Burch, it’s anything but the green first steps of a fledgling new artist. The Detroit singer/songwriter has been visible for the better part of her years-long career singing in Frontier Ruckus, or more recently co-fronting Failed Flowers, but somewhere a vibrant collection of solo material slowly began taking form.
Growing up in Michigan, her fixation with music transitioned from a childhood of Disney and Carole King sing-alongs to more typically angsty teenage years spent covering Bright Eyes and Fiona Apple at open mic nights. By 18 she was deep into the lifestyle of the touring musician, juggling all the regular trials and changes of young life while on a schedule that would have her gone for months on end.
After a few whirlwind years of this, exhausted and feeling a little lost, she stepped away from music completely to attend grad school in Chicago. This respite lasted until 2014 when she moved to Detroit and found herself starting work in earnest on solo songs she’d been making casual demos of for a year or so. Friends had been encouraging her to dive into solo music, and one particularly enthusiastic friend, Chicago musician Paul Cherry, went so far as to assemble a band around scrappy phone demos to push for a fully realized album.
“Writing songs that I actually liked for the first time gave me a feeling of accomplishment,” Burch said, “Like, I can do this too! But working with other musicians and hearing the songs go from sad singer/songwriter tunes to arranged pop songs gave me this giddy confidence that I’d never felt before.”
The process was drawn out and various drafts and recordings came and went as the months passed. By now Anna was playing low key shows and d.i.y. tours solo and had released some early versions of a few songs on a split with fellow Detroit musician Stef Chura. Even at a slow, meticulous pace, with every step the album took closer to completion, it felt more serious and more real. After a more than a year of piecemeal recording sessions, Anna was introduced to engineer Collin Dupuis (Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen) who helped push things energetically home, mixing the already bright songs into a state of brilliant clarity.
Fred Thomas is a Michigan-born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who's been at it forever. Starting out as a teenager in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti noise scene in the early 90's, the guy just kinda started jamming and never stopped.
Dedicating the past two decades to various projects, Fred's output has always been wildly varied and constantly changing. Best known for work as a "brainchild" sort of bandleader with the experimental pop sounds of Saturday Looks Good To Me, Thomas has also made significant noise and traveled the world on a seemingly endless string of tours with the washed-out physche of City Center, reverby surf punkers Swimsuit and the internal gentle pop duo Mighty Clouds with former SLGTM singer Betty Barnes.
Compulsively playing in bands, running small-scale labels and doing shows on a non-stop basis would make a comprehensive list of related projects a little
exhausting, but it's safe to say there's always gonna be something homespun, beautiful and a little weird if Fred is involved.
Born in New York and raised in Montreal, Common Holly (AKA Brigitte Naggar) puts unpredictable compositional elements into a singer-songwriter/folk framework,
packaged in textured, eclectic electro-acoustic production. Her forthcoming album, Playing House, contemplates the notion that it is conscious thought
and deliberate action that defines and cements maturation from child to adult.