Charlotte Spiral is a duo of Amy Spencer and Avi Barath, two former Goldsmiths students now writing complicated songs laced with lyrics loaded with emotional uncertainty; those words are only matched in their complexity by the many-layered musical architecture that supports Spencer’s distinctive voice.
“I kind of like it that people think my name’s Charlotte,” laughs Amy. “The name Charlotte Spiral came from a pose in figure skating. We started putting the music on top of old figure skating videos and then Avi and I decided that our band name should have something to with it because it’s so elegant. We wanted that to be reflected in the music.”
Upon the release of their debut EP, the gorgeous, mesmerising and haunting Ideal Life, Charlotte Spiral spoke to Further. about fake medicine and ‘A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts’ – very probably the one and only time that song’s going to get a mention here, and highly unlikely to feature on their debut album, I imagine.
What’s your earliest memory?
Amy: When my brother and I were kids my grandparents would look after my brother and I, mostly after school and also in the summer when our parents were at work.
I have a strong memory of them sitting together on a bench under the apple tree in the garden. My granddad loved music and he could sing beautifully – he could play the harmonica and even the spoons! My grandma would sing that song ‘I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts’. I’m sure she sang many other songs too but for some reason that one sticks!
Avi: There is a place in Rhodes that is meant to be very beautiful called Butterfly Valley. Sadly, my earliest memory is of being very sick there. My dad tricked me and gave me a Mentos sweet, which he told me was medicine. I think it actually worked…
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Amy: Stop worrying!
Avi: Trust your instincts.
Where are you most productive or inspired?
Amy: I often get ideas for lyrics when I’m travelling or walking somewhere. It’s usually just a line or two that I will finish once I have a chord progression and melody.
Avi: It changes all the time to be honest, but recently it’s been wherever there is a piano.
Ideal Life by Charlotte Spiral is released February 7 2020.
Interview: Mat Smith
(c) 2020 Further.