The art of simplicity


Dunedin musician Chris Butchard steps out from behind his drums in Queenstown this Saturday to bring his DIY solo indie pop album to life.

Butchard, a regular on the Dunedin music scene, penned Every Casino Has a Chapel for his project Avec Spirale.

The mix of 10 catchy indie pop and reflective folk tracks was released earlier this month.

“It started off as just a small EP, a side project a couple of years ago,” Butchard says.

“But a couple of friends gave it a listen, said it’s not too bad, and that gave me the encouragement to put it into an album.”

The album’s an eclectic mix; from the immediate driving riff of Fingers to the more melancholic acoustic folk track Black Cat Hotel.

“It’s a culmination of what I’ve enjoyed playing, recording and listening to.

“Hopefully it’s not too incohesive.”

Many of the songs came to him quite quickly, he says — he didn’t want to dwell on the album so any taking too much time he axed.

“I always had in my mind these were going to be not so complex, straightforward indie pop songs.”

He composed, mixed and recorded the tracks in his home studio.

That’s meant some work’s needed to go into preparing for a live performance.

“That’s what’s taken the most time, to try to get the songs to sound like they do on the album, because it was really a recording project first.”

Butchard has Nic Dwyer on bass and Ryan Finnie as drummer for his three-piece live band.

“We’ve tried to replicate the songs as faithfully as possible so Ryan’s triggering samples on a drum pad; we’ve literally got some of the lines from the album and chucked them on the sample pad.

“The good thing about that is we have to play to a click so it’s always going to be tight enough.”

Avec Spirale will play four gigs on the album release tour.

Avec Spirale play The Sherwood on Saturday, 8pm. $10 on the door