Chris Endrey has never given too much thought to what’s popular.
“I feel like if you can try to find something authentic about what you actually want to express or do, then that’s going to be way better,” he says.
Endrey is speaking to me after the release of his new single ‘Holding Out’, the third from his upcoming album.
Sprawled on the floor of the O’Connor bedroom he’s crashing in for the weekend, he clarifies: “I should be more shrewd in the way that I get stuff out. I think what I enjoy about music is playing and creating and working with other people … I just am not very good at pursuing it.”
By ‘it’, he means the commercial side of music and art.
“I’m just greedy. I get to do exactly what I want. And I get the commensurate punishment for that,” he laughs.
Endrey called Canberra home for 15 years before returning to his hometown of Melbourne. However, it feels like he’s barely left. The multidisciplinary artist is back in Canberra to run workshops and perform a few shows when I speak to him. Later in March, he will be in Canberra as part of his east coast tour for the new single.
‘Holding Out’ blends hypnotic electronic beats with live strings, and features a choir providing backup for Endrey’s understated, melancholic vocals.
“It’s sort of an exploration of abandonment, sort of both personal and social, the sort of standard distance that we have between us in contemporary Australian life and elsewhere as well, obviously. It’s a yearning for that to be different,” he explains.
“It’s a bit of a meditation upon that.”
The song was initially written and recorded on a laptop in O’Connor, taken to Hungary where live drums were added, and then came back to Queanbeyan for strings (a live quintet, at the insistence of producer Louis Montgomery) and then the ANU’s School of Music for choral backing.
Its quite the journey for “such an easy, disposable piece of art”, Endrey laughs.
The ‘Holding Out’ single launch will be held on 27 March at the Polish Club. Tickets are on sale now via TryBooking. In April, Endrey will host the third Canbeurovision with fellow Canberra musician Jayne Hoschke of Lady Denman.