Next Wave #648 – Little May

Beautifully heartbreaking songwriting...

When Little May first emerged at the tail end of 2014, the band seemed almost too good to be true. Three Australian musicians with a neat line in indie folk, their chiming harmonies seemed to cut straight through, their honest, passionate songwriting arriving without pose or bluster.

As it turns out, none of it was exactly planned. Speaking to Clash, the band's Liz Drummond explains that the group emerged out of friendship and jam sessions. “Well, we all went to school together so we were all friends. We didn't really form a band on purpose, it was kind of an accident, really,” she laughs. “We were just friends and used to muck around playing music on my balcony… just drinking and playing music, I guess. Then we kind of thought we should start taking it seriously.”

The group certainly take their music seriously. Boasting a mean perfectionist streak, sessions for their debut EP were lengthy as the central trio sought to define exactly what Little May should stand for. “I think we were a bit hesitant about what we were going to release and a bit more picky with it and maybe a little bit too perfectionist,” she admits. “But I feel like I'm personally learning to chill out a bit more and just let things happen and not worry too much about what the structure of the song is, or if it's cool enough.”

An instant success, the EP allowed Little May the chance to work with one of their bona fide heroes: Aaron Dessnor of The National. “Well, it's funny because we actually made a list of producers that we wanted to work with, quite early on, and we put Aaron Dessnor at the top of the list. I think it's crazy how that happened,” she says. “I think writing things on paper is a good thing to do because it seems to work for us, so far.”

Debut album 'For The Company' is the result. Gilded songwriting which is unafraid to be catchy and melodic, there's a refreshing frankness in Little May's approach to making music. “I think we're coming to realise what we're good at and what we're not good at and that we should stick to what we're good at. And maybe that's just being honest and singing sad songs.”

All in all, the trio have come a long way from sitting on a balcony, drinking wine and dreaming about where music could take them. “I think every day something happens where we're like: where are we? How did we get here?” she laughs. “Often looks are exchanged, shaking our heads to say: this is really cool. We're really lucky.”

WHAT: Beautifuly heartbreaking songwriting

WHERE: Sydney, Australia

GET 3 SONGS: 'Hide', 'Boardwalks', 'Home'

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