Yet again I am very, very excited to share my 'Music Monday' find with you all today. It really is a little gem, or rather they are a gem. And especially if you like Haim, (you all know how much I love these girls!) I guarantee you will adore this musical trio as much as I do, because today I want to talk the Australian equivalent, and they really are amazing.
From Sydney, Australia, the gorgeous trio Liz Drummond, Hannah Field, and Annie Hamilton identify themselves as “three girls making ghost folk.” I think that's a pretty accurate description right there! I know I've just compared them to Haim, but when I listen to their music I also feel a little Mumford and Sons vibe in there as well. I know it's sometimes unfair to compare artists because, trust me, Little May's style is still truly, truly distinctive, but for review purposes I think it's helpful to relate it to something.
The strength of Little May's music is a very articulate, very beautiful acoustic guitar sound that is the very foundation of their beautiful music. But, what makes Little May's music even more spectacular beyond this is their is stunning harmonising vocals that really sets the band apart. It is just....magical.
And so now onto their self-titled EP 'Little May'. I have listened to this on loop for a few months now so I feel I know every phrase, every word and every little melodic nuance by heart. And indeed I hold this EP very close to my heart in general. They say music is one of life's best healers and this definitely helped me through a dark period. Little May's 5 track EP took me through a whole spectrum of human emotions from lamenting on my loss to feeling hopeful towards the end. Here's why....
It starts with 'Dust', which is the perfect way to introduce Little May. It starts so softly, so sweetly, with their soft voices gently nestling against the soft acoustic guitar backdrop. And then suddenly, as is so common with Mumford and Sons, (and hence my comparison), it is taken up a whole new level. The gentle guitar backdrop turns to fast strumming and a bass riff starts to literally 'ignite' as they sing that very word. After I heard this song, I was already hooked. The song is just over 5 minutes and you are taken through every possible emotion in that time.
And then we get 'Hide', a song I heard on Radio 1 recently on Fearne Cotton's show and was so excited for them! This is Little May a little more angry, a little darker almost. The guitar accompaniment is ever so slightly more complex and the harmonies really echo the 'hide and seek' element with beautiful phrasing to emphasis this. The harmonies are angelic and the musical beauty overall is ever so slightly hypnotic.
The next track 'Midnight Hour' reminds me of an old school train sound... I'm aware this doesn't make any sense but I can't express it any differently! It's ever so slightly Travis esque too. It has a gorgeous addictive rustic guitar strumming drive which I just love. And then there's 'Bones', the penultimate track, which is a gorgeous haunting number, despite the perhaps misleading faster opening, it definitely has a more mellow vibe. It's the bass coupled with the soaring haunting harmonies that makes this track really atmospheric and as I have come to realise with Little May, there's also a sprinkling of optimism and charm, and the piano riff underneath definitely brings this to life in this little number.
And finally 'Boardwalks' which one day one of my favourite of theirs, and then the next I find myself feeling guilty for even having a favourite because they are all. so. good! But like all of Little May songs it begins rather unassumingly with a fluttering guitar opening and echoing, ghostly harmonies. It builds, and builds and around the 2:20 mark it builds towards a crescendo, a long lasting resurgence that builds in energy to something truly spectacular. It's a stunning ending to a stunning, stunning EP.
I really hope you enjoyed my review of Little May. Are you already a fan, or are you now? If you love Haim, Mumford and Sons, First Aid Kit, Ben Howard and Fleetwood Mac then go to iTunes and immediately download their EP. I just know you'll fall in love with it as much as I have.
Where to find Little May: