NEW ARTIST FINDS: LITTLE MAY
Being an unimaginative xenophobe like myself, it’s tough to write about an emerging artist like Little May and not write something like, ‘Little May, Australian for First Aid Kit’ or ‘Little May, Australian for Ghost-Folk.’
But such jokes, if you can call them that, are not funny and are unnecessarily dismissive of the truly wonderful music Liz Drummond, Hannah Field, and Annie Hamilton are making.
These gals deserve your attention, just leave your preconceived notions at the door.
LITTLE MAY “HIDE”
We live in an era of instance everything. We foolishly believe that if we can immediately quantify something then we will have an easier time understanding it and this big, confusing world in which we live. Sadly our brains and life don’t work this way. Things take time.
In our rush to label and explain who exactly Little May is, we miss what’s actually going on here. Instead of putting this highly creative and talented trio in a restrictive box in order to appease our own mental shortcomings, we should give them time to grow into what they will become.
It’s easy to understand why people are so excited about Little May. They have only two songs in their catalog, but they are both spectacular. “Hide” (which can be streamed above), is a perfect piece of the type of jangle folks that acts like Mumford and Sons are currently rapping the soul of for commercial purposes. “Hide” actually has some personality to it, quite a bit in fact. Despites its mid-tempo and lush harmonies, the song is actually a brilliant display of muted anger. Call it passive-aggressive folk. The songs defiant lyrical message seems at odds with its lovely sonic surroundings. It’s this type of dichotomy that the best music, regardless of genre, is made of.
Little May’s other song, “Boardwalk,” is another instant charmer. Here the First Aid Kit comparisons show themselves. The song starts as a slow, melodic number powered by some guitar picking that is sure to put you at ease and get stuck in your head for at least a few days. The track’s kick-in comes towards the end of the proceedings and is well worth the wait. It sneaks up on you and inattentive listeners just may miss it.
Again, pay attention.
LITTLE MAY “BOARDWALK”
The lovely ladies of Little May describe themselves as, “Purveyors of ‘ghost folk of the highest order.’” I’m not exactly sure I could define what Ghost-Folk is, but it seems like the perfect descriptor for this type of music. It’s worth noting that none of the ladies have been in a band before, a fact that is mind-blowing given how good their early returns are.
In every way Little May is in their genesis. The girls have said that they expect their music to take a darker turn, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. All of this will. An EP is expected out this year, and hopefully it will act as a ceremonious beginning for a what is a long and lucrative career.
Little May could grow into something fantastic. Let’s just hope we have the patience to let them.
LITTLE MAY “EMMYLOU (VANCE JOY COVER)”
Special thanks to Pucken for tipping us off to the ghost-folk stylings of Little May.
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Calvin Paradise works as an educator in real life, even though he doesn't like children or education. Truth be told he doesn't like much of anything besides music. Calvin writes elsewhere on the internet and has a podcast that takes place exclusively inside his head.