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SPOTLIGHT ON BUTTER BATH

Butter Bath's new single Beds With Springs is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.

Image: Supplied


Sydney neo soul artist Butter Bath is about to be your new favourite Aussie act! If you've been sleeping on the musical project of Toby Anagnostis, let us get you up to speed.


Growing up around music, due to his fathers profession as a luthier, Anagnostis developed a lust for all things musical. After mastering the drums, the musician began to develop his vocal abilities whilst also learning guitar during high school, where he also became infatuated with songwriting.


Fast forward a few years to present day and the musician has four single releases under his belt, with his stellar new single Beds With Springs out today. The conversational track continues the musicians fusion of indie rock and soul whilst navigating feelings of frustration within introspective lyricism. Set to a shimmering and mesmerising soundscape.


Recorded in his bedroom studio, Anagnostis takes full creative control of his music, writing, recording and producing his own tracks to create immersive moments that propels his smooth and honeyed vocals to new heights. His unique sound is distinctively Butter Bath, confident with moments of vulnerability and sense of relatability.


To celebrate the songs release, Anagnostis will take to the stage with his full band at Vic On The Park later this month, with a show at Park House the following night. Both performances will adhere to current social distancing regulations, with more information available here.


Beds With Springs is out now! Read our full interview with Butter Bath below!



Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey...


My dad is a luthier so I was always surrounded by guitars and music growing up. Deep down, I wanted to be a drummer and after a couple of years of playing a drum kit that I made out of saucepans and an old djembe, my parents bought me a real drum kit. I started focusing on vocals and guitar in high school and that’s where I fell in love with songwriting.

Congratulations on the release of your stellar new track, Beds With Springs. What inspired the conceptual standpoint of the song?


I had finished a long shift and didn’t have the resolve to overlook a feeling of frustration that had been gnawing away under the surface for a couple of weeks. It made me wonder how regularly I disregard these signs and tell myself that things are running smoothly when they’re not. I think I sometimes operate under the mantra of ‘if I tell myself I’m well, then I am well’. The way that human brains work is so far beyond what I can wrap my head around and I wanted this ambiguity to be reflected in the lyrical style.

The track is a shimmering, confident cut that plays out beneath a mesmerising and compelling vocal performance. How did you craft the sonic soundscape of the song?


When I was learning to play the drums, I really struggled to get a good snare sound out of my cheap kit. I remember I would flip the snare upside down because it would make it sound tight and snappy. I was playing around with a drum groove and tried this snare-flipping trick and it gave it a hip-hop feel, which felt new for Butter Bath. The day before I wrote the track, I had bought a bass and really felt like giving it the spotlight for a song. The entire song became about these drums and the bass line and is my least dense production so far. It’s an approach I’d like to explore more - less instruments but each part is more intentional. It was the first time I’d ever written and produced a song from start to finish in a day.

If Beds With Springs was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?


I recently saw an artwork at Mona Museum by Leopold Rabus called Neige et Renard (Snow and Fox). When you look at each individual element of the painting it is almost hyperrealistic but when you look at the whole artwork it is really hard to tell what you’re looking at. I would never liken my music to the ingenuity of Leopold Rabus, but I think that the lyrics of Beds With Springs have a parallel in that the coherency is in the fine details.


How do you feel your music speaks to listeners, and what messages do you hope they take away from the song?

I like to keep my lyrics quite broad so that there’s enough room for people to apply their own meaning to the songs. I also hope that people can sink into their couches with their morning cuppas and relax to it.

You’ll be launching the single with a socially distanced show at Vic On The Park later this month, with a show at Park House the following night. What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?


4 of my friends have been playing with me live and we’ve been having a lot of fun at our shows. We’re playing all 6 songs from my EP as well as a bunch of new tunes. We’re yet to play a standing show but we’ve actually really enjoyed Covid’s seated format. I think kicking back with a beer in hand works with my slower groovier tracks.

Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs?


At the moment I am writing and recording everything in my bedroom studio in Sydney’s inner west. Generally, I’ll start with some synth chords or a guitar melody and I’ll add layers on top until I’ve got a loop that feels right. If I’m really vibing it I’ll start to write vocal parts and if I’m not I usually move straight onto something else. I don’t spend much time on something once I have decided that I don’t like it as much as my other tracks.

Did you encounter any challenges whilst creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it allow you the time and space to immerse yourself within this musical project?


I am very fortunate in that music isn’t my soul income source. I also work in disability support, so I was able to go to work throughout the height of the pandemic and then come home and work on music. It was a really productive time for me and I wrote a lot of songs that I’m excited to share.

Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts?


My top Aussie artists would have to be #1 Dads, Julia Jacklin, Charlie Collins and Gensis Owusu. Casual Fan, who are playing with me at Vic on the Park next week, are also one of my favs. 2 of their songs were in my top 10 last year.

Will you be dropping a full length release this year? And what can fans expect from your future releases?


I am dropping my 6 track EP next month, which I’m really proud of and can’t wait to finally release. I’m not sure if I’ll have a full-lengther wrapped by the end of the year but I’ve got a bunch of new tracks and I’m quivering with excitement over the thought of releasing them. Beds With Springs is definitely indicative of the sounds I’m exploring on the new tracks.


RAPID FIRE

Biggest influences?

Frank Ocean and Bon Iver


Dream collaboration?

I’m working on a track with Hector Gachan that I’m stoked on. I’d love to do a track with Raveena one day.

Album that has had the most impact on you?

Blond by Frank Ocean


How do you define your musical style in 3 words?

Psych pop soul


A musical release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?

I really hope that Connan Mockasin releases something this year.


If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

The Birdcage with Robbin Williams and Nathan Lane

Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?

Han Han


Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs


Best concert you have been to?

Anderson Paak. live at Fall Fest Marion Bay

Last concert you went to?

Ruby Humberstone… amazing

If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?

Dairy Spice


Guilty music pleasure?

Zayn, his voice makes me feel all funny


If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?

Men I Trust would be fun

An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

Madonna


What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

Pesto pasta and cheese is not sustainable


The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

My first gig at school battle of the bands in year 3