“Silver and Ash” puts Jewish themes to music

Clare Burson “Silver and Ash”

By Melanie Cytron

Move over Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles; there’s a new indie princess in town. Her name is Clare Burson, and get this: not only is she Jewish, but her latest album, “Silver and Ash,” was inspired by her two grandmothers’ experiences as Jews living in Nazi Germany.

Burson’s sound is a combination of acoustic guitar and smooth vocals. Her voice has a rawness and sincerity similar to the likes of Cat Power and Florence + the Machine, to name a few. However, while Burson’s style may be comparable to other indie-pop songstresses, her lyrics are in a league of their own. Her songs reflect the immense fear and grief felt by her grandmothers and all Jews during the Nazi dictatorship of Germany.

Yet underneath the sorrow lies a glimmer of optimism and innocence. Many of her songs speak not only of the grim realities many Jews faced during the Holocaust, but also of the hope for a better life. One might think that an album about the Holocaust would be depressing, but Burson’s lyrics are overall very uplifting.

While there have been many prominent Jewish singers and songwriters in the past, none are quite like Burson. Her exploration of her Jewish heritage through song is innovative, and allows the listener to be simultaneously entertained and educated. “Silver and Ash,” which was released Sept. 14, is Burson’s third album.

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Clare Burson and Dinosaur Feathers will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12 at Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. Tickets are $10 for those over 21 years and $13 for those under 21.