Adam Torres & Molly Burch
by Derek Van Wagner
Photograph by Kelly Giarrocco
Adam Torres’s rise to popularity has been a slow burn. He released an album in 2006, earned a following in Athens, Ohio, refined his craft, landed on Fat Possum Records, and is now a featured artist on NPR. Torres has a vulnerability in his voice that is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, the songwriting is brimming with emotion, and his band’s acoustic arrangement—guitar, violin, bass, piano & percussion—deliver a soothing brand of folk music that may transport you to a back porch in Appalachia at dusk (not a reference to “Deliverance”).
Molly Burch has had a different approach. Burch grew up in Los Angeles, studied jazz performance vocals in North Carolina, and found a home in Austin. She signed to Captured Tracks, and released a debut LP in 2016 that she has since toured with internationally. Many of Burch’s songs blend heartbroken narratives and fifties pop. They’re what you would want to hear on your way home from splitting with your high school sweetheart. Fortunately for us, her voice is so lovely and vibrant that any pain in her lyrics dissipates into the ether. Comparisons to Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, and Angel Olsen are apparent, but Burch’s vocal range and ballads set her apart from the rest. Mark my words, Molly Burch is one of Austin’s next big artists rising to stardom.
Here are two artists who, after long journeys, have settled down in Austin and are poised for a meteoric rise. Show them some local love!