Moody Sydney trio, Little May recorded their new album “For The Company” in a converted nineteenth-century church in upstate New York.
Sydney indie pop band Little May make a noise worldwide as debut album released.
Liz Drummond, Hannah Field, and Annie Hamilton sing most of their songs in tightly-knit, dark harmonies that tear through moments of calamity with pristine, powerful force.
This feels totally appropriate — their music has a sense of drama to it, a stateliness and a dark romanticism befitting the echoey chambers of a place that looks like ghostly folk music with swelling pop arrangements, and with the help of the National’s Aaron Dessner.
The Sydney indie pop trio would set up in the corner of gastro pubs or neighbourhood bars three years ago with their limited arsenal of other people’s songs, rotating them over three hours of playing and hoping no one noticed the repeat performances. Fast forward a few years and after the successful launch of their self-titled debut EP last year, Little May have become another Australian band on the international radar. Now they can silence a crowd with their own music, including new songs Home and Seven Hours, just a few years after battling the background buzz of uninterested pub patrons.They are well aware of the power of their voices, particularly when joined in harmony, and with drummer Cat Hunter and bassist Mark Harding fleshing out their ranks, the quiet folk trio is a much louder indie rock band.
Go through the whole post to read the rest of the indie band’s album story
here’s an old joke, well-known among music fans, about what happens when you play a country song backwards. There are a few variations, but generally, you get your wife back, your dog back and you quit drinking. Less well-known is the joke about what you get when you play New Age music backwards: you get New Age music. I am reminded of this second joke by Little May’s debut album, For the Company.
This is not a criticism of Little May so much as it is of what passes for contemporary folk and indie rock and, by extension, what gets played on the radio – particularly Australia’s national youth broadcaster Triple J, which has served up truckloads of this goop in the past decade, from Mumford & Sons to Angus & Julia Stone. If loud-quiet-loud was the white rock sound of the early 1990s, this is the era of next to no dynamic range at all.
Little May fit in perfectly. The young Sydney trio (Liz Drummond, Hannah Field, Annie Hamilton) make acoustic-based music with minor flourishes – strings that swoop and soar as required, tinkling piano, electronic touches to keep things vaguely edgy – and their self-titled debut EP was a runaway underground success.
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The result is that For the Company doesn’t end up sounding like an album so much as 11 songs that – instead of being individually tailored to complement and balance each other – have been burnished to within an inch of their lives to maximise each one’s chances of cinematic or television placement, in a scene wherein the jilted heroine takes a moment to reflect upon her romantic follies.
Hopefully, For the Company will set Little May up for a long career. Their second album, however, will be a bigger test: having quickly painted themselves into a corner, do they risk artistic stagnation on the follow-up or will they dare to shake things up with some bold variation on their own template? Let’s hope they take the second option and that their audience is brave enough to go with them.
StreeXB extends special thanks to The Guardian for the article. Click here to read the rest of the story and check out Field sings succinctly rendering the emotional power others have over us into the semblance of a physical force.