Ende Februar ist die erste, selbstbetitelte EP des australischen Singer-Songwriter-Trios LITTLE MAY erschienen. Hier sind exklusive Kommentare von Sängerin HANNAH FIELD und Gitarristin LIZ DRUMMOND zu den Songs…
The track “Hide” was written a few years back in a dingy motel in a small coastal town called Mallacoota on Australia’s south coast. Liz and I had made the poor decision to road trip it down to Melbourne, where we would be playing one of our first gigs. The always sensible and reliable Annie Hamilton had of course decided to fly. We were due to play at a venue called the Chandelier Room in an industrial area on the outskirts of Melbourne a day later. It was all very exciting. Unfortunately I thought the quickest way to get to Melbourne from Sydney was to simply head South. Coast it was! Eight hours into the trip we realised we had another 8 to go. Liz decided to start talking about Ivan Milat (infamous serial killer) as the sun went down over the dense bushland, so of course it would make sense to drive into the bushland towards the coast and bunk up somewhere for the night. Mallacoota was our destination. We were given an awesome little motel room that was, I’m pretty sure, a converted Swimming change room. This made for great inspiration. We purchased some red, Liz put vaseline on her face and began playing this catchy hook over and over: „Ooooo, vaseline on my face“. Then I would respond „vaseline!“ and “Hide” was born. The song was inspired by certain indiscretions made by certain ex partners. It explores the differing views of what the definition of monogamy really is.
“Midnight Hour” was one of the first songs we wrote and it’s probably the most linear track we have. Fleetwood Mac’s „Tusk“ was an early inspiration for the track. It’s all about dynamics and building a solid vibe. We saw the song as a flat bed which we could just layer upon. We originally tried to re-write the end of the song to take it to a different place, but it didn’t have the same impact. Some things are best left untouched – or in their original form. Hannah wrote the lyrics. In her words: “It’s arrogant. It’s a lie. It’s forced. It’s confident. It’s basically an ode to the underdog.”
„Bones“ was written in an hour. Hannah and I were at my place and had been listening to Big Scary’s “Thinking About You”. The song wasn’t really “written”, it was just played, and Hannah’s lyrics are exactly the same as when she first sang them. Very raw and literal. She is good like that. We recorded it on a voice memo and over time we re-jigged the structure and built upon it in rehearsals. We worked with Eric J Dubowsky who really mapped out the song with us in the studio. It was very clear where we needed to go with it. We didn’t want to bring the chorus back at the end, because we felt like it was too typical. But Eric and a few others convinced us. The song is a pop song and we needed to embrace it. This song is all about parts and melodies pushing and pulling against each other, eventually overlapping and interweaving to come back together.
“Boardwalks” was one of the first songs that we worked on as a band. I wrote the song in 2011, at a time where I was feeling like I needed to put things behind me, move forward and pursue music. I recorded a demo at my house and sent it to the girls when we formed the band. Hannah took on the lead vocal as we felt it suited her voice best. Annie added to it and we recorded it pretty much in its exact form. When I recorded the demo I didn’t have a drum kit, so I used anything I could find to make noise. I would record random sounds with a shitty room mic and chop and layer them on Garageband. The song was called “Boardwalks” because I was smashing a plastic guitar case with a piece of wood, which made it sound like someone was walking on wood. We meant to change the name but we never got around to it.
I wrote the structure of “Dust” in 2011 (before we formed the band) and Hannah and I worked on it one night after a few wines. It was originally called “Square One” and we recorded a voice memo which went for 1 hour because I forgot to turn it off. That voice memo turned out to be very valuable because Hannah came up with the lyric: “Take me back to summer when the nights were getting warmer and I missed you”. I went overseas and the song wasn’t finished. When I came back, we had formed Little May. We re-worked the song and called it “Mexico”. We started recording with Sam Thomlinson in 2012. Sam was a friend of ours from a Sydney band called Lovers Jump Creek and we used their rehearsal space to record. We drew inspiration from local bands like Lovers Jump Creek and Elliot The Bull, as well as Half Moon Run, Local Natives and Alt J. Sam’s production allowed the song to open up and it became sparse, epic, delicate and glorious. We then worked with our friend and producer Michael McGlynn from Vienna People Studios. Michael sold me my first guitar and he put on the open mic nights at our local pub. Hannah, Annie and I would play there every Wednesday night to a small community of musicians who we really admired. Michael and his engineer, Scotty, helped us take the song even further. We had so much fun. In the final stages of recording in 2014, we decided to change the lyrics and name of the song. Hannah and I were sitting at her house one night after the funeral of one of our school friends. We wrote the lyrics “You held the tide, agreed to let you go. And I’m not ready to ignite this now”, thinking about him. We then decided to call the song “Dust”.
(Dew Process / Universal Music Australia)