Avalanche City

Avalanche City

About Avalanche City from Auckland

Avalanche City is the brain child of Dave Baxter, a musician who’s background stretches across many genres and influences culminating in a sound that is an impressive and eclectic range of various instruments, melodies and harmonies.

The depth and perspective create a dynamic atmosphere that is rich and raw all at once. The epicenter of Avalanche City is Baxter himself who writes, conceives, produces, records and plays every instrument on this debut album ‘Our New Life Above The Ground’.

Within the historical walls of a lone abandoned small country hall north of Auckland – ‘Our New Life Above The Ground’ materialized and was recorded strictly within the confines of a guerilla DIY approach inspired by The Rocket Summer's first recording. Baxter's convictions remain steadfast as he recounts that… “Ever since I heard that story (of how The Rocket Summer recorded) I absolutely wanted to create and record an album where I produced everything, played everything, recorded everything" and today the anticipated result is "Our New Life..." from beginning to end.

A multi-instrumentalist who was coursed at the early age of nine, Baxter picked up the guitar and begun re-arranging classic school sing-along's like ‘She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” into more expressive original works. From there, several school bands through Intermediate and High School – and then the formation of hardcore group ‘One Must Fall’. Both this, and following Hardcore band, The Chase carved a path in the ever growing scene in NZ and saw them tour and support international acts Hatebreed, Sick Of It All and Parkway Drive.

When it came down to brass tax this time around the only catch for Baxter assuming each role of Avalanche City was the vocalizations and singing. Working daily on vocal scales and lyric writing, he spent 6 months honing the craft, experimenting with different techniques until he performed his first solo shows with The Paper Kites (Australia), and Bradley Hathaway (USA) to a thrilled and welcoming audience.

From there, he began capturing each instrument, experimenting with different sonic techniques while simultaneously getting it all onto tape. With a raw style filled with unique nuances warmed by the scope of the country hall naturally found itself taking pages from the songbooks of some of the greats - Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Ben Gibbard to name a few. The instinctual and rugged storytelling ability is apparent and strikes more than a chord in the listener through rich narratives and the evocation of impressive imagery.

Speaking of the creative process, which is as open as the means by which the album itself was put down, Baxter recounts - “A song for me can start from anything. Sometimes I'll hear someone say a word and that will start the process, other times, it’s an image that I focus on”

Avalanche City’s alignment to the current popular lo-fi pop trend is of pure coincidence – the likes of Mumford and Sons and The Middle East, all sharing stripped back folk, pop and country aesthetics that with tactful bare bones audacity pays homage to and is reminiscent of what one might catch while hitching a ride across the backroads of America nearly half a century ago.

In addition to his own take on the genre; one savvy effort that Baxter is doing differently from most is that he is giving away ‘Our New Life Above the Ground’ album for free (!). As a free download from his website, and a choice as to whether the listener wishes to donate or not to the artist, is a bold and encouraging approach to empowering fans and generating support.

“I just wanted people to have it. I've worked so hard making this album and if I sold it it'd only reach a few hundred people. I just care so much more about people having it, listening to it, sharing it with their friends and hopefully identifying with the songs.“

Such an approach is rapidly rewarding everyone involved - artist and fan alike as people around world – UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand - have in fact been paying for it in various sums (one fan putting down $100NZD) without hesitation after listening to the album.

Although Avalanche City is a solo project, live performances will feature various musicians and instruments from mandolin, ukulele, glockenspiel, to accordion – a full rendition of the album and it’s magic… “One thing I want for Avalanche City is for it to constantly push musical boundaries. These guys are so talented at what they do and are just great at interpreting the album and putting their own flavor into it. “

Links Other bands that link here:
Miss Bright, Blutfleck, Lisa Crawley, The Latest Fallout, Little Lapin, Fraser Ross & The Felt Tips
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