The crowd packed into the basement of The Hug and Pint were in an unusually cheerful mood for a Tuesday night and no wonder since we only paid a tenner to spend time with Anna Burch and Hatchie – two of the most promising new artists in indie rock.
Australian Hatchie started off the evening with her beautiful dream pop stylings, sounding like a mix of the Cocteau Twins and the soundtrack to your favourite eighties movie. Her set included tracks from her new EP Sugar & Spice, which will be released on May 25th. Sure and Bad Guy were lush slices of shimmering shoegaze and her excellent band created some nicely atmospheric layers of sound. And there was even nice use of the mirror ball, just in case anyone wanted to recreate that 80s prom night slow dance.
Then Anna Burch and her band came bounding onto stage, grinning from ear to ear and she barely stopped smiling the whole way through the set. Burch’s debut album Quit the Curse is one of the best indie rock records released so far this year and it was such a treat to hear her live. With wry and observational songs about running into your ex at a bar, dating drug dealers and disappointing relationships Burch was an endearing and relatable performer throughout. How refreshing to be at a show where the musicians appear to be genuinely delighted just to be there.
That’s not to say Burch’s music is happy go lucky or anything – there’s some real bite to her lyrics and versatility to her sound. She introduced the song Belle Isle by almost apologising for its country influence but that mournful guitar style only made the lovesick blues feel even more real. Burch finished her set with the sarcastic jangle pop delight that is Tea-Soaked Letter, which is one of the catchiest and most deliciously fun songs of the year so far.
Perhaps the vocals could have been higher in the mix at times but you couldn’t fail to be impressed by the effortless, unassuming charm of the singer and her excellent band. A short and sweet evening which proved that both performers have the potential to go far (and hopefully that includes coming back to Scotland soon).
ANNA BURCH TOUR DATES: https://annaburchmusic.com/home/