Girl To Know: Molly Burch
Singer Molly Burch has a voice that is velvet that’s somehow mixed in with raspberry sweetness and smoky East Village (back when it had proper grit). Burch was raised in Los Angeles amongst the Hollywood working class, with a writer/producer father and casting director mother. Throughout her adolescence she was under the spells of Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline and Nina Simone. It wasn’t until college that Burch took up singing at the University of North Carolina where she studied Jazz Vocal Performance.
Burch then fled to more musical pastures and found her way to Austin, Texas where she truly began to hone in her songwriting skills.
“I was always really interested in singing before songwriting. I didn’t have the confidence to write,” Molly says, “Initially it was more about finding the right songs to complement my voice.”
Her sophomore album First Flower is a collection of breathy, slow dances. Burch’s melodic voice provides calm and relaxation, but you can certainly recognize her jazz education within the songs. In ‘Next To Me’ starts off with a slight homage to Patsy Cline and some dashes of Nina Simone’s influences.
In her video for ‘Candy’ shot on 8mm film, directed by director, songwriter and actress Nöel Wells (best known for her role as Aziz Ansari’s love interest in season one of Master Of None), it playfully portrays a talented singer being pulled from all ends starting with the pushy photog (played wonderfully by Max Jenkins), hair/makeup and the rest of the shoot crew.
Of the collaboration, Burch says; "I’ve been a huge fan of Noël’s for quite some time so it was a dream of mine for her to direct this video. It’s really inspiring to watch her work. Her mind is so fast and full of ideas constantly. The whole day was mostly female dominated, which is always my preference (shout out to my sister Samy Burch who cast all of the wonderful actors in the video!) It was a glorious experience collaborating and I feel she captured the song so well."
And Wells expands; “I was a big fan of Molly’s first album and so I was really excited when she asked me to direct a music video for “Candy.” The song itself is very visual to me, and my first instinct it that I wanted the video to be bright and colorful and fun…I also had this instinct where I wanted to make Molly look really great, I think she’s so beautiful and it made me excited to play with that, and there was a part of me that thought “as a woman why would I want to make her look so hot, isn’t that objectifying her?” And then realized the female gaze is completely different, if anything it’s a celebration and appreciation, there’s a safety in expressing that beauty. But that notion of exploiting something beautiful paired with the lyrics, which are all about trying to escape personal anxieties, came the idea of this girl at photoshoot, literally dressed like a flower child, kind of coming to terms she doesn’t want to be this photographic prop, but every time she changes how she looks and tries to escape, she gets caught again. We shot on 8mm to capture a 60s pop vibe, and to add to the levity of the silent film nature of the video, especially toward the end.”
First Flower is out now.