anchor & the butterfly is a collaboration between songwriter and singer Bridget Robertson and guitarist Lance Hillier. From their home in Central Victoria, Australia they create music in a converted tin shed in their back garden. Music that is emotionally honest, beautifully lyrical with a healthy dose of heartbreak and toil.
Taking their inspiration from artists like Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, anchor & the butterfly play comfortably on the sidelines of the indie folk and country traditions, using subtle instrumentation of acoustic instruments coupled with lush electric guitars.
The duo released their debut album Nothing to Win Nothing to Lose in early 2014. The album was written and recorded over a three year period between life and other commitments including a spell for Lance to engineer and co-produce The Cannanes critically acclaimed album Howling at all Hours.
The duo has conjured a rousing collection of songs on this album, appearing like odes and tributes for old friends and comrades. Lyrically the album swings beautifully between the dichotomy of human emotions in times of change -sadness and celebration, joy and despondency.
The album brings into sharp focus that feeling you have just before something big occurs, as an influential moment descends– the last breath, the final goodbye, an acute shift in circumstance.
Songwriter for the duo, Bridget Robertson is well know for her masterful ‘turn of phrase’ and emotionally charged lyrics. Nowhere is this more evident than on the title track of the album Nothing to Win Nothing to Lose- “you went from the north, coast to coast, a stranger and a ghost, making plans, you were my friend first when that overwhelming thing crashed into us, it was a hastened act”.
The delicately constructed lyrics are perfectly supported by the lush and looming arrangements of mood driven guitars and flourishes of mandolin, piano, keyboards and percussion.
The creative process for this release is unique for a musical act that spends so much time together and plays onstage with such an alluring chemistry.
Bridget says of the process “We created this album mostly in single isolation from each other. We only really worked together when laying down the guide tracks and when friends arrived to lay down bass and percussion tracks” she says.
“Once the guide tracks were put down Lance would disappear into the studio for days on end finessing tracks. The studio often resembled a mad scientists workshop with instruments, effects units and equipment strewn across the floor”.
The end result is worth it. Anchor & the butterfly have crafted a beautifully expansive album that flourishes with joyful melancholy and a harnessed intensity. An attention to detail and craft that should be celebrated and keenly observed.