Bex Burch -There is only love and fear

On rare occasions, all the stars align. This is how it was when composer-musician and instrument-maker Bex Burch jumped into her car and drove eight hours across Europe to Utrecht in November 2021. “Mostly life isn’t like that,” she says. “We’re here to figure things out and struggle. But occasionally things just fall into place. Sometimes the world is magical.”

There is only love and fear is the sound of Bex Burch in communion with some of the finest sonic communicators in International Anthem’s extended family. These include woodwind player Rob Frye, who gave Burch a tour of the Illinois Audubon Society’s Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary the day after she arrived in Chicago. Also Tortoise drummer Dan Bitney and Ben LaMar Gay, who both took Burch through her first few days in the studio, tuning into her communicative harmonics and responding with their own. And double bassist Anna Butterss and violinist Macie Stewart, who participated separately but both became key collaborators in the album’s post-production, accenting their respective string improvisations with additional sounds remotely recorded per Burch’s direction. Everyone on this record is highly skillful, a rare talent, but drawn together by Burch they were invited to inhabit something even more extraordinary: their most open selves, requested only to bring the sounds they liked – or even needed – in the moment of recording.