The Vulture Chats with Butterfly Boucher
Almost five years since her last solo adventure, Butterfly Boucher has just released her self-titled third album. About to embark on Missy Higgins’ The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle tour, not only as the support act but also on stage with Missy as her bandleader, bass player and backing vocalist, Butterfly Boucher took some time to chat with us about her new album and upcoming tour.
Her self-titled album has been met with rave reviews, which focus on the complexity of her finely tuned song-writing and ability to create an original pop sound. So how does it feel to have the album met with such great reviews? “It’s lovely, you’re so close to an album by the time you finish, so your perspective isn’t very fresh. You know you’re proud of it and like it but it’s a great relief when others support your view.”
Boucher made the point that when you have a fan base which knows and follows your music, it can be tough to keep your original sound and still progress as an artist. Since releasing her second album, Scary Fragile, Boucher has severed all ties to her Australian label, leaving her free to make music the way she wants to at her home base in Nashville. When asked about the differences between the two albums in relation to the change in label she recalled a recent interview, in which she was asked the same question. “I started out by answering I had approached the album in the same way but as I answered the question I realised I had gone about it the same way but I was the difference.” The difference, she went on to explain, was being in a happier place and feeling much more comfortable rather than trying to get a Top 40 album as she had with the second record. This comes across in Butterfly Boucher, an album with a very fun and lively vibe to it. But, Boucher claims, while many people shared this sentiment she finds it funny, because most of the lyrics are about breaking up.
When writing songs, Boucher says the music always comes first. “I grew up doing instrumentals, and got into music initially so I wouldn’t have to talk.” She explains that it was more to do with her lack of confidence in her ability and in her analysis of what was good and what wasn’t. “It has taken years to become a better judge of myself.” With all the recent reviews praising Boucher’s strong lyrics she said, “After writing songs for 20 years or so it’s very good to hear that – a surprise, but good.”
As with the Scary Fragile recording, Boucher played all the instruments on the new album, even graduating to contribute to the percussion section. She explained this was more to do with the writing process rather than any artistic decision. “I start making the album at home, building the tracks, and when I get to the studio, I may bring people in if I am looking for a specific sound.”
Through writing songs and trying out new sounds together, Boucher and Missy Higgins have developed a strong relationship. When Higgins began her recent album, Boucher asked if she could co-produce with friend Brad Jones. “This has been the biggest project so far – having the producer hat on. It’s good not to be the artist, and have all the weight and big decisions that you have as an artist. An artist has to make all the tough decisions whereas a producer is there to support them and help them to realise their ideas and not get lost in their own thoughts.”
Boucher has co-produced all her own albums and songs for friends and sisters, which is where she initially found she had an ear for producing. “It’s always been there but it’s nice to be at a level that the opportunity to work with amazing people comes about.” Joining Missy on her national tour as support act, band manager, bass player and back-up vocalist, means a busy couple of months coming up, however Boucher is taking it all in her stride. “It’s double duty but it’s fun. It’s such a great opportunity, so I am hardly going to complain.” As it happens, most of the others in Missy Higgins’ band are friends of Boucher’s from Nashville, “so it will be nice having everyone on the road.”
While it is hard to look forward with so much involved in the Ol’ Razzle Dazzle Tour shows, Boucher says there is talk of a solo tour sometime in the future. Due to the album being released in both the United States and Australia at the same time, Boucher says there will have to be some promotion when she gets home to Nashville but the way her diary is now, it’s hard to schedule anything. When she does line up those solo gigs, she is sure to bring her own kind of razzle dazzle to the stage.
Catch Butterfly Boucher on the Missy Higgins Ol’ Razzle Dazzle Tour when she comes to Melbourne at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Friday 27th of July.