There are parts of ourselves we never grow out of, voices in our head that we seek comfort in, regardless if they speak to us in truth or in delusion, despite their efforts in feeding our insecurities. The only escape from the tricks of the mind is to create our own realities, envisioning stories of spectacular that seem to only exist beyond the horizons of the mind.
Today, Molly Burch arrives at this horizon with the release of her latest album, Daydreamer, a collection of tracks that reincarnate her younger self, revisiting feelings of insecurity, introversion, and grand imagination that seem to be embedded in the User’s Guide to being a 13-year-old girl. The album’s title comes from days the artist spent in her bedroom, daydreaming of worlds, lives, and, scenarios with the TV on in the background.
Lead singles of the album include “Physical,” an alluring beat enhanced by an ‘80s-like tempo, setting the tone for the surrounding tracks that hold a more pop-forward sound than her previous works. Completed with the help of producer Jack Tatum, other sonics of the record include catchy synths, inspirations from Japanese City pop, horns and strings that serve as vessels for Burch’s angelic vocals. Her lyricism is fun, literal, and to the point, delivered within poetic ballads. Take, for instance, “Made of Glass,” in which she sings, I picture myself all grown up and confident / But really, I don’t believe I’ll ever be that woman, later singing, Another night alone in my room / Kissing my mirror, pretending it’s someone cool.
FLAUNT spoke with Molly about the creation, meanings, and memories of Daydreamer, which precedes her upcoming North American tour that kicks off on September 29th in Austin.
Daydreamer is such a personal project, and the lyrics are very direct in calling back to specific past feelings and memories. What was the emotional experience of writing this album? How do emotion and creation work together for you?
I'm a very emotional person so everything I write is personal and vulnerable. I think this is maybe my most emo record. "Tattoo" was hard for me to write because it's about my late best friend. Overall it felt really cathartic to write.
This album feels more pop-forward than your previous work. How did that come to be? What was the “aha” moment that made you want to work with producer Jack Tatum on this?
Jack and I co-wrote a pop song in 2020 together and I loved working with him. We get along really well, except he doesn't like to gossip and I do. But other than that, we share similar taste and I've always been such a fan of his. We've been on the same label for a while so it felt really natural to work together.
What was the most challenging part of completing Daydreamer? What is the most rewarding part?
It took a long time from writing it to putting it out–in the past, that timeline has been shorter. I think anything challenging is due to living in a post-pandemic world. The most rewarding was definitely creating a video for "Tattoo" with my late friend's sister. We are very close and it was really lovely collaborating.
Can you walk me through the songwriting process of the album? Does the sound come first? Do the lyrics come first? How do you put together lyrics that are so literal and specific to you, yet exist in a collective understanding?
I usually try to write about what I'm going through. I've always written the music first and then the lyrics come. Every album is different and this album was all over the place because I worked on it for longer. I do love to try and write as personally as possible but in the hopes that people will relate. There's nothing better than that feeling.
Being a young girl is often described as a visceral experience. There’s the famous Virgin Suicides scene when Cecilia is told that she has no idea how bad life gets in which she responds, “Obviously, you’ve never been a thirteen-year-old girl.” What were you and your world like at 13? In what ways have you changed and in what ways have you stayed the same?
I was very shy at 13. I had a lot of anxiety and would get nervous stomach aches before school. I went to an all-girls school and had a small group of friends but I wasn't that social. I found comfort in staying in my room and watching TV. I still find comfort in that and I still struggle with anxiety and depression but I've come a long way as we all do as we grow and age.
How does it feel to be, in a way, taking the inner workings of your 13-year-old mind and sharing it with the world, not only through this album but live in your upcoming tour?
It's very vulnerable for sure but I think because it's such a universal feeling I don't feel nervous about sharing it. I am really looking forward to performing these songs live.
Where do you escape to when you’re daydreaming? Is it the same place you went to at 13?
Not exactly the same! I used to daydream about being a pop star and now I daydream about moving to a farm with my boyfriend.