Where: The Toff in Town
When: Sunday, August 12
Preview: James Shackell
FIRST things first: yes, that is her real name. Butterfly Boucher, the Australian-raised, Nashville-based indie pop singer, has just released her third album but says the ‘‘Butterfly’’ bit still puzzles people.
“I’ve had a few people say, ‘Oh, I thought you were going to be a rap artist’. Like Butter Fly, you know?” she laughs.
“It may give me some street cred but I think it’s also confusing. A lot of people say: ‘I’m a huge fan of Butterfly Boucher. I love them. They’re my favourite band.’”
Boucher, a middle child with six sisters, is happy to stand alone however, having played just about every instrument on her latest tracks herself, layering the sounds in her small studio at home. It’s the legacy of her days as a kid spent messing around on her Dad’s old four-track cassette recorder.
“My friends were at school and I was at home recording stuff on the four-track,” she says. “There was nobody around so I would just end up playing drums or bass or whatever – I would just do it all.”
“Quite often I have a very clear idea of the sound I’m looking for and it’s just a matter of finding it, even if it’s just the sound of a wooden spoon hitting the wall of the bathroom!”
Boucher released her debut LP Flutterby in 2003, but a falling out with her American label A&M Records delayed her second album, Scary Fragile, until 2009. It left her questioning her desire for music, and helped motivate her to co-produce the new album herself.
“There’s no label breathing down my neck on this one,” she says. “I can just go where the inspiration takes me and not really question it too much; I just enjoy it.” The freedom has led to a raw and varied mix of tracks, full of the soaring vocals, quirky pop beats and synthesised strangeness that have made Boucher a bit of a Nashville celebrity. “Maybe that’s why I’ve lived there for so long,” she jokes. “The constant ego boost of being recognised.”
It’s not only her solo work that keeps Boucher busy. She toured as bass player with Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan last year, and on Missy Higgins’ recent national tour. She also helped produce Higgins’ latest album.
Boucher says writing her own music doesn’t come easily. “I find it difficult to write an album, but once I’m in the right headspace it tends to come very quickly. I feel like I’ve gotten more confident over the years with lyrics, but it’s still the hardest part.”
Tickets are $15 plus booking fee. Details: visit thetoffintown.com.