Indie-folk trio Little May are this week's feature artist. We spoke to them about developing their sound, their upcoming spot at St Jerome's Laneway Festival in Sydney and what's on the horizon in 2014...
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
Our music would fall into the folk/indie/pop category. We never set out to create a certain sound, but we have been concentrating on songwriting for a while. I think it took years of us playing bad covers and writing really average songs to get to a point where we felt we were developing our own thing.
We have a lot of different influences which is really awesome when it comes to writing collaboratively. We are still an acoustic trio, but there are a lot of influences coming through that aren’t just folk. It just so happened that we wrote these songs on acoustic instruments, because thats all we have ever played. Going into the studio to record the EP played a massive role in developing our sound. All the things we had originally envisioned the songs doing dynamically we could now do, and we weren’t limited to two guitars, a stomp box and Hannah’s attempts at using a Cabasa. We were listening to Local Natives ‘Hummingbird’, Half Moon Run ‘Dark Eyes’ and Alt J when we were recording, and I think those albums really inspired us and gave us a lot to think about production wise. From then, it was an obvious move to start playing with a band. We were writing songs that were asking for more. I think we’re finally at a point now where we know what sounds like “Little May” and what doesn’t.
You’re one of the winners of our Laneway competition. What can the crowd at Laneway in Sydney expect from the Little May live show?
We are seriously so amazed and thankful that we get to play Laneway this year. We were all literally beside ourselves that day it was announced. We have never played a festival before, so it will be a pretty new experience. Our live show is getting bigger and a little darker at times. We’re gradually adding more people too. We’ve got three of our close friends playing with us; Cat, Mark and Sam, which should be good fun.
How did Little May form?
Hannah and I (Liz) had been playing together since we were about 17. We met in high school and we instantly clicked. We listened to a lot of the same music, and would spend most weekends playing really bad covers, namely ‘Save Tonight’ by Eagle Eye Cherry. Eventually we started writing our own songs and started singing together and blending our voices. The three of us formed under Little May around mid 2012 when we decided we needed another guitarist. I knew Annie from early high school so we started jamming together, bought a PA and started doing open mic nights and gigs.
What are you three doing when you’re not playing in Little May?
We live in each others pockets so it’s kind of strange when we aren’t together. We all have our jobs on the side, and have our own little things going on. Annie is a graphic designer, she draws a lot. Hannah and I can’t draw. We go up to my parents farm in Wollombi quite a bit, sometimes to write and rehearse or to just to do nothing. We like going to gigs too.
What are your plans for Little May in 2014?
We will be releasing our EP around April this year. We are playing Secret Garden and touring with Mikhael Paskalev in March which will be amazing. The main focus for for us is to keep writing, recording and rehearsing. It’s all about the songs, so we want to just keep the ball rolling and from then we can see where the year will take us. I think we will be recording all of our new stuff too.
Australian music is…?
...amazing right now. It’s very inspiring to see what some Australian artists are doing, and to see them taking on the world is really cool.
Unearthed High champ Gretta Ray is back with 'Unwind' - a stunning new song she recorded here at triple j.