What We Lose In the Fire We Gain In the Flood
Rising from the ashes of D.C. pop duo Georgie James, singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn retreated to rural Oregon with singer-songwriter/producer Richard Swift, and recorded a collection of tunes as earthy as a bunch of handpicked wildflowers. Conjuring sun and soil and musty old houses with stories to tell, the songs on What We Lose In the Fire… have the feel and texture of artists like Dusty Springfield and the ‘60s; but plenty of moments put Burhenn in the here and now, alongside female vocalists like Sarah Jaffe and Chan Marshall of Cat Power. Joined by musicians from bands such as Bright Eyes, These United States and Azure Ray, tunes like “Numbers Don’t Lie” and “LA Rain” sway with soulful seduction, and Burhenn’s voice melts butter on tracks like “Give It Time,” “Right Place” and “What We Gained In the Fire.” Songs like “Let the Record Go” and “Wash It Out” turn up the drums a notch, and give the record some swagger, in the same way Thao Nguyen infuses her songs with a sexy kind of energy. It’s great to hear Burhenn’s vocals showcased in such fine material.