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Butterfly Boucher Interview


Listen to Butterfly Boucher play ‘Warning Bell’ live in the studio

The interview continued…

Listen to the interview with Butterfly Boucher – Part 1
(Butterfly talks about growing up in a motor home and her first experiences of music)

Listen to the interview with Butterfly Boucher – Part 2
(Butterfly talks about the differences between playing in a band and being a solo artist)

Listen to the interview with Butterfly Boucher – Part 3
(Butterfly talks about her new album, her collaboration with Missy Higgins and sings “The Weather” live in the Joy 94.9 studios)

Listen to the interview with Butterfly Boucher – Part 4
(Butterfly performs “Warning Bell” live in the Joy 94.9 studios)

Amy reviews Butterfly Boucher’s latest self-titled album

Artist: Butterfly Boucher
“Butterfly Boucher” (self-titled)
Release Date:
13 April, 2012
My Rating:
6 / 5 AMAZING!

How often these days do you put an album on for the first time and instantly fall in love with every single track? I can honestly say that hasn’t happened to me for a really long time, but I can guarantee you that when you listen to Butterfly Boucher’s latest album, you are in for a real treat! All ten tracks are a masterpiece of musical design, featuring exquisite instrumentation that will intrigue, excite and provide you with an album you will listen to and love for many years to come.

The classical composer in me melted around the two-minute mark in the track “None The Wiser” where a gothic pipe-organ, Baroque harpsichord and toccata-style solo stopped me in my tracks and gave me the “holy shit!” goosebumps. The track “The Weather” is sassy and sexy, with just enough distorted guitar to give Butterfly a grungy edge in this track. The opening swirling organ of “Not Fooling Around” is exquisite and the rest of the track is full of twists and turns that will excite. The reflective “Warning Bell” is thoughtful and extremely beautiful, with it’s slightly jazzy guitar chords giving it a bluesy bite. The entire album really is exceptional, extremely clever and deliciously addictive.

If Butterfly lived in the 1840s, she’d be Beethoven. If she lived in the 1960s, she’d be John Lennon.

Boucher’s album is mature, hand-crafted, intimate, epic and thoughtful, all at the same time. If Butterfly lived in the 1840s, she’d be Beethoven. If she lived in the 1960s, she’d be John Lennon. I’m no fortune teller, but I tell you what, this girl has got something to say and if I had a million bucks, I’d bet it all on the fact that she’s the next musical genius of her generation. I think I’ve used just about every descriptive adjective I know in this review, but you know what…this album really speaks for itself. I give it 6 out of 5 kisses, if that’s possible. It’s my new favourite album and I guarantee you, it probably will be for a long while yet!

The title track 5678! has been out now since February and has already caused a stir. ‘5678!’ was declared iTunes Single Of The Week early in 2012. Her quirky music video for this track includes 20 seconds in the middle of the song where she says “So you think you can dance do you?” and swings her long lanky legs, twitches her shoulders up and down and struts across the screen showing off her not-so-amazing dance skills in the cutest possible way. I’m sure she really is a great dancer, deep down! She invites fans to the 20 seconds of pure dance challenge, asking us to upload our own 20 seconds of pure dance videos in response to hers. Many have already responded, including Butterfly’s long-tome friend and musical colleague, Missy Higgins, who uploaded a video with dancing even more ridiculous than Butterfly’s. If you feel inspired, why not take up the challenge too?

Get Butterfly Boucher’s new album! She’s done it all herself and is truly independent, so every bit of support you can show this incredible artist will give you good music karma forever. It is an album I can’t recommend enough and can’t turn off. It’s on continuous repeat at my house! Thanks Butterfly. You’ve made my week, if not my year!

Written by Amy Bastow for the Kiss My Arts Show on Joy 94.9 – All opinions are mine. Copyright 2012.

Mechanical Pterodactyl serve up a delicious musical cocktail

Amy reviews Mechanical Pterodactyl’s latest album Watercolours

Album: Watercolours
Artist: Mechanical Ptererdactyl (under the mastermind of Yen Nguyen)
My Rating: 4 / 5

The Mechanical Pterodactyl was built by multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger, Yen Nguyen. Joined at times by a five-piece band of regular collaborators and drawing on influences such as Bon Iver, Radiohead and James Blake, The Mechanical Pterodactyl serves up a delicious musical cocktail, one that will linger on your lips all week.

On a first listen of Mechanical Pterodactyl’s latest album Watercolours, there is absolutely no doubt of the talent and mastery of the man behind it all, Yen Nguyen.

Yen has been a producer and working musician for ten years; most notably as drummer for live hip-hop act Casual Projects, and contemporary bluegrass act Mustered Courage. He has also produced albums and tracks for many top-class artists.

The title track “Watercolours” opens with a Muse-like vocal passage, which at first, makes you think you’re about to listen to just another band writing just another album, trying to sound like just about everybody else. But in the very next beat, the addition of an impressively recorded and mixed punchy drum track and a funky bass line shows us that we’ve just stepped into a whole new world, the world of Nguyen’s Folktronica.

There’s no doubt that Nguyen was influenced by the intricate and unusual harmonies of Muse, or even perhaps the aesthetic of Radiohead. His list of influences is long, but Nguyen transforms these influences into his own machine.

There is an incredible use of percussion throughout the album, which makes sense given the fact that Nguyen majored in jazz drumming at the Australian National University (ANU). I particularly like the use of rim-taps that pop up in various places throughout the album, but which make a particularly striking feature in the opening of the track “Was It Wrong?”. The purposefully distorted vocals in this track for me, are reminiscent of the technique The Black Keys use in their vocals, and which seems a popular tool amongst indie songwriters these days. Nguyen uses it sparingly and to great effect in this track.

Track 3, “Runway”, begins with some kind of rhumba-esque guitar phrase, only to be interrupted by the irregular pulsing of a synth. How Nguyen makes that transition and gets it to work is beyond me, but he does…and we have the first electronic-infused track of the album. By now, three songs in and we’ve already witnessed an array of musical colour, style and genre.

Track 4, “Digital Berlin Wall”, opens with something you might expect to hear in a film noir soundtrack. To my ears, it sounds like a saxophone and double bass playing in rhythmic unison in the deep depths of their registers. The effect is quite eerie, but before we can settle on this timbre, a jazzy drum track and slow walking double bass enter, followed quickly by a distorted wa-wa guitar. The epic chorus of this track has an 80s feel to it. I think it’s the close vocal harmonies and guitar effects that give it this feel, but it is rather catchy. Nguyen really delves into electronic manipulation in this track, which adds a fabulous gritty texture.

“Pieces in a Game” is a more subdued track, giving us the chance to re-coup at this point in our listen through the album.

“Revolver” opens with a single repeated note on a clarinet, or perhaps a high saxophone, which is joined by another repeated note, then a third on a grittier wind instrument, a saxophone I think, and then finally a fourth repeated note…..all four repeated notes are then held in a jazz chord with a muted synth or perhaps an organ sound welling up underneath it. A wonderful opening texture. A slightly out-of-tune and electronically manipulated piano then enters to top off this great moment. The rest of the piece lilts between piano, vocals and double bass, a more jazzy brass sound and the electronic synth timbre. The piece eventually morphs into a manic “improvised-style” section.

The jazz influences continues into Track 7, “Like Riding A Bike”, but it also takes on more of a funk flavour. Again, a smorgasbord of styles and influences in this track.

Track 8, “Temporary”, uses a drum track along with piano that is noticebly chopped up in a rough glitchy fashion. More use of synths and effects in this track make for an interesting listen.

The final track of the album “Asleep at the Wheel” takes us on yet another genre excursion, with all the elements of a great country ballard, complete with beautiful accompanying female vocal harmonies by Jenny Lee. Possibly a strange track to end the album on, but perhaps the albums’ title, Watercolours, is a fairly accurate summary of the vastness of colour, texture and genre that lies within.

An incredible listen and incredible mastery from Mechanical Pterodactyl. If you’re looking for something fresh, something innovative and an album that will satisfy all your moods, this is one to put on your record player this week.

I give Watercolours 4 out of 5 kisses.

Written by Amy Bastow for the Kiss My Arts Show on Joy 94.9 – All opinions are mine. Copyright 2012.

Jack Carty will break your heart strings

Amy reviews Jack Carty’s latest album Break Your Own Heart

Artist: Jack Carty
Album: Break Your Own Heart
Released: 27th of April, 2012

Break Your Own Heart sees a darker, more dynamic turn in Carty’s song writing coinciding with a year that was, in the words of the man himself: “Simultaneously one of the best and worst of my life.” From the rolling guitar line of opening track  The Length Of Canada (co-written with Grammy Award Winning Songwriter Dan Wilson), through the gritty directness of Everything, Unhappily, the immense longing of songs like Travelling Shoes and She Loves Me to the ironically upbeat swagger of Waiting, Waiting!, Break Your Own Heart is a stunningly unified, moving and thoughtful collection of songs that effortlessly captures a time and place in a young man’s life. A time and place I’m sure most of us can relate to.

Carty explains When I think of the year 2011 in the future I am sure I will overwhelmingly remember airports, highways, train stations and other people’s couches. This record is about that. Not the travel necessarily, but about giving up a lot in one area of your life in order to try and achieve your goals in another. I think that is a crossroads most people come to at some point along the way.

Jack Carty is a story teller and a poet. His stories are honest, sincere and engaging.

In his latest album, Break Your Own Heart, Carty takes us on his personal journey of an eventful year of self-discovery. Throughout this journey, we see twists and turns, we feel heartbreak, we experience the uncertainty of life and the beauty of existence.

As is quite often the case with folk music, we get a sense of time and place, of storytelling and of a journey. With tracks titled The Length of Canada, Travelling Shoes, A Point on a Map and Waiting Waiting we definitely get the sense that Carty was traveling a lot during the writing of this album, which gives the album a real freshness.

The opening track, The Length of Canada is a truly remarkable piece of musical art. The triplet rhythms in the guitar riff over the top of a steady 4/4 beat on the drums gives us a feeling of movement, travel and exploration. In my minds eye, Carty evokes a scene of traveling down an endless highway, full of twists and turns that take us on a journey through the Canadian countryside. Carty’s enchanting voice and great use of melodic shape sends goosebumps to my arms every time I listen to this track.

The second track, Too Many Things In Too many Places, shows us how thin Carty has spread himself throughout the making of this album. We feel his homesickness, but also his desire to travel and experience all the sights and sounds of the world. With lyrics like “He wants too many things in too many places, a comfortable home that I’m always away from. I want the Williamsburgh Bridge, the Tower of London, I want the mountains of Germany, I want you there to want me –  I just want to come home, there’s so much to run from”.

In the track Traveling Shoes, a subtle guitar line quietly follows the shape of the vocal melody on the word “traveling shoes”, which is absolutely magical. In verse 2 when Carty sings the melody up an octave, we experience the sheer beauty of his voice in this register, and I can guarantee you, your heart will break at this point in the song. Strings slowly wrap their warms arms around us, so subtly, yet so convincingly. Everything in this album is there for a reason. Carty never clutters the space with unnecessary sounds, electronics, reverb or other effects. All the instrumental lines have been thought of and carefully crafted to match his incredibly poetic lyrics. Carty says a lot, with not much! Now that’s talent.

In the track, A Master of All Things, Carty uses a repeated note on the guitar, which acts as a pivot to some really beautiful and colourful chords and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude at this point, perhaps because Carty also makes lovely use of a piano in this track, particularly in the high registers.

A banjo and harmonica take the stage in the track Waiting, Waiting!, which reminds us that although Carty is experimenting with different styles and feels, his roots remain firmly planted in folk.

Some unusual and interesting rhythmic phrases are used in the track Break Your Own Heart, which keep us guessing as to what its time signature might be. Carty also introduces a trumpet, again, very subtly, almost as though it’s coming from another room in the distance.

All this from a young man who always performs with his shoes off!

In this album, we also see a young man out in the world, following his dreams, but making sacrifices to do so. Just to reassure you Jack that you’re doing the right thing, I love what you’ve done with this album and give it 4.5 out of 5 kisses. We all think you were born to write music, and with lyrics like “I want to play this guitar until the day my heart fails me” we’re convinced there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing either. So please, keep on traveling, keep on writing and keep on bringing us the joy of your music.

To Listen to Jack Carty’s mucic visit his website

Written by Amy Bastow for the Kiss My Arts Show on Joy 94.9 – All opinions are mine. Copyright 2012.

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