Monday, 13 October 2014

EP Review - Little May

by Little May (out now)

The team here at It’s My Kind of Scene all have vastly different tastes in music. So when we all agree that an act is (for lack of a more dazzling term) totally 100% amazeballs, you can bet your bottom dollar that act is something special. The music from Sydney’s Little May is definitely something special. Since the release of ‘Boardwalks’ and ‘Hide’ in 2013, the excitement for the release of their debut EP has been building and building. Anticipation couldn’t be any higher than after the release of this year’s single ‘Dust’ and now, the Little May EP is out there in the world. There’s no doubt about it and no use beating around the bush… Liz Drummond, Annie Hamilton and Hannah Field have delivered an exceptional work of music that’s more than worthy of their status as one of Australia’s most buzzed about new acts.

Did you see them featured on I sure did. Billboard called them “buzzing Australian trio Little May.” No big deal, yeah? It’s a MASSIVE deal, especially when they are being compared in North America to Fleetwood Mac. This came with the announcement that ze ladies had signed with Capitol Record in the US. And they’re just casually heading over to perform a showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York. But before they get to that there’s some debut shows in old London town. Not too shabby. Now, what about the music on the EP? Like I said, it’s exceptional work. Five tracks that make an immediate impact in their own way and five tracks that will have a lot of staying power in the hearts and minds of listeners. “What are these tracks?” you ask. Let me break them down for you, track-by-track style.


There's something fascinating to me about placing a song that feels like saying goodbye and letting go at the start. 'Dust' is a stunning introduction to Little May for those that might be unfamiliar. It opens with a light introduction that makes you wish you were sitting by the water and watching the sun rise. Alright, the first time I heard 'Dust' I was sitting on the pebble beach in Brighton watching the sun rise, but that's neither here nor there. Drummond takes vocal lead, with Field providing some beautiful harmonies. You can't help but feel that we're being told a deeply personal story full of highs and lows, both heartbreaking and heart-warming. Little May are really quite excellent at taking you on an emotional roller-coaster on their tracks, so you might as well get used to it right from the start. "I watched you shake, I watched you break, I watched this place take away, all we had, and I'm sinking into something that I, wished I hadn't found." There's something about those lines and the delivery of them that floors me each and every time I hear them.


When you get addicted to a song, and I mean addicted to a song, you go through a period of time where you must listen to that song whenever you can. The problem with this is, usually after that intense time has passed, you'll never really listen to the track anymore. Sure, you'll love it forever and when it comes on you'll remember how you could not stop listening to it, but you won't go out of your way to play it. This did not happen with 'Hide'. Towards the end of last year, I could not stop listening to it. Fast forward almost twelve months... I still can't get enough of it. A witchy vibe, a drum-heavy chorus and a theme of betrayal. What's not to love?  "Can you see me count to three? No I won't play your hide and seek." World class in every single way. To steal some terminology from my fellow blogger Jo, 'Hide' is a song that has secured a place in the soundtrack of my life. It's really that good. 


'Ghost Folk'. I've seen the term in press releases used to describe Little May's sound. What I thought was a pretty cool and quirky term for indie/folk is actually the perfect fit for 'Midnight Hour', a track that steers into alt-country territory. Unsurprisingly, the trio slide comfortably into this territory which utilises those knockout harmonies to great effect. We even get a little do-si-do breakdown. That just means I don't know the technical term for the instrumental-bridge-bit-thing, but when you hear it you'll want to get some haunted do-si-do action started. Perfect for all your hipster Halloween parties this one is. 


In terms of surprises, 'Bones' would have to be the Little May EP's biggest. And best. 'Bones' is as close to 'pop' as you're going to get with Little May and, set your status to swoon, this is like 90s singer-songwriter pop. The best kind! I'm excited just thinking about it. This is what you want in an EP; versatility. A debut EP should show off all the best sides of an act. Moving slightly away from the sound we've now come to expect from Little May was the perfect move. Exploring their pop-rockier tendencies further in the future could prove very interesting because 'Bones' is delicious. Make sure you read that right, I'm not saying bones are delicious. The song's amazing pop music, alright? Vocally, this could be the EP's standout track with all the layers and competing lines. Give it five years, we'll probably be discussing how 'Bones' is the EP's standout track overall. And I'll still be listening to 'Hide'. 


Our last track is Little May's first. How did we feel when we first heard it? We might have made some outlandish statements like...

"These girls know how to make great music... I have a feeling that this band is destined for huge things." (Lou Endicott)

"Liz Drummond, Hannah Field and Annie Hamilton are already being called the 'next big thing' by so many music blog peeps we love and we couldn't agree more." (Matt Bond)

"This is the type of talent that cannot go unnoticed and I'm going to be so happy for them when we've said all we can say about them and the only thing left to do is press play." (Jo Michelmore)

What's great though is, those weren't even a little outlandish. Little May have come such a long way since the release of 'Boardwalks' in such a short time. We can't wait to see just how far this talented trio will continue to rise. "Somebody told me you were leaving town, I swear I never thought you'd be the one who'd let me down." Those opening lines from their very first song will hook you in right away. Little May might be heading out of town on the next step of their journey, but you can rest assured their music isn't going to be letting us down. Get this EP right now, feel all the feels, fall in love with Little May and watch the rest of the world fall in love with them too. This is the very best in music.

Matt Bond gives the Little May EP five Amanda Palmer heads out of five...

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