Aisha Burns

Life in the Midwater (Western Vinyl)

Texas Platters

Aisha Burns

Life in the Midwater (Western Vinyl)

Aisha Burns adds violin and occasional vocals to local orchestral-folk sextet Balmorhea, and now offers her solo debut. Caught in the sea change indicated by its title, the album equivocates between demure vulnerability and a steadfast self-assuredness. At times, that thrust can be misleading. Opener "Sold" stretches Burns' normally rich growl into upper octaves, overwhelmed as soon as her signature stringed instrument joins the acoustic guitar strums. Next, on the title cut, Burns reins in the nuances of sparse six-string accompaniment and lets her croon take the limelight. Ultimately, Life in the Midwater shines when the chamber-pop flourishes Burns adds to Balmorhea break through in her own writing. Standouts "Shelly" and "Destroyer" become lush and rich with layers, featuring Andrew Bird-worthy violin pulls, yet amid the sweeping flurry, the singer's vocal lament remains the most gripping element. Though her best songwriting comes in the same vein, Aisha Burns has successfully mapped a musical identity separate from Balmorhea, even if it's caught in the midwater.

***

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Phases & Stages
Radiohead
A Moon Shaped Pool (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Aug. 12, 2016

Phases & Stages
Car Seat Headrest
Car Seat Headrest (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Aug. 12, 2016

More by Abby Johnston
Dixie Chicks Remain Red, White & True
Dixie Chicks Remain Red, White & True
The world’s finally caught up to the outspoken Texas trio

Aug. 8, 2016

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Aisha Burns

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)