“I’m so excited we’re playing at Johnny Brenda’s, because it’s one of my favorite places, and we fought for that. We actually switched some dates around!” says Molly Burch during a recent phone chat. We’re discussing the Los Angeles-based indie pop singer/songwriter’s upcoming fall headlining tour, which kicks off September 29th in Austin (where she resided for several years, prior to returning to her hometown) and features a stop at Fishtown’s mini rock n’ roll ballroom on Saturday, October 7th.
Last year Molly Burch headlined The Foundry, and the previous year she opened for our good friends in Tennis at Union Transfer. And while we do love those spots as well, it’s quite exciting to have her coming to the far cozier setting, and Molly seems to agree: “When we toured with Tennis, it was great, because we got to play a lot of theaters. But I do love intimate shows… I like when people are standing, and you can feel the energy!”
Molly Burch’s upcoming tour is in support of Daydreamer, the artist’s upcoming full-length, which follows-up 2021’s Romantic Images, and drops this coming Friday, September 29th (the first night of tour), courtesy of longtime label Captured Tracks. The album was produced by Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum, with whom Burch collaborated on 2020’s “Emotion.” “We did a co-write of a song together right before the pandemic and, doing that, I knew that I wanted him to produce the record,” Burch says. She also tells me that the collaboration comes with the added benefit of Jack’s own fanbase: “There’s a lot of people who like Jack, so they’re excited that we’re collaborating.”
The singer/songwriter explains that working with Tatum has helped to get her more comfortable leaning into her pop sounds (which began on Romantic Images) and straying a bit from her folk roots: “We were building off of the last record, with clean pop production.” However, when I ask about her latest influences, she tells me that she hasn’t totally gone the pop route. “I think my taste is pretty eclectic. I really like modern pop. I love Taylor Swift, I love Sabrina Carpenter, and I love indie music,” she says, going on to cite Canadian alt-rock outfit The Beaches as a current favorite.
And it’s not just a new kind of production Burch was exploring with Tatum on Daydreamer. There’s also some additional instrumentation: “It’s the first time I had a lot of strings and horns throughout the album.” She also tells me that they approached the recording process in a new way: “In the past, we always had a certain time to record, but for this one we did a lot of remote work, back and forth.”
The third single from Daydreamer, “Tattoo,” dropped earlier this month. The dream pop track is a ten-ton truck of a ballad (Seriously, don’t listen to it for the first time in public.) dedicated to her late best friend, Lena, who passed at just 19, but was the first person with whom Molly ever played music. And while Lena does have a crazy story about getting a teacher’s name tattooed on her ass during a senior year scavenger hunt, the tattoo that the song references is a symbol she had tattooed on her breast bone that means, ‘no fear,’ which Molly decided to replicate on her own body after Lena’s passing, as a way to always remember the way her BFF taught her to approach life.
According to Molly Burch, fans can expect to hear a lot of Daydreamer on her upcoming dates, including her Saturday night stop at Johnny Brenda’s on October 7th. But she tells me that people who have been to her last two stops in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection can expect more of the same vibes: “It will be like the touring in recent years, a four-piece, including playing to backing tracks within our set, so the songs sound fuller.” She says that right now her mind is on these dates, but that fans can expect something else exciting around the holidays: “We’re just really focused on this tour. We get back at the beginning of November, and we’ll just be home for the rest of the year, but then my Christmas album gets reissued every year!”
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