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Have you ever had a moment of clarity? A fleeting epiphany during which all your troubles melt away and the perplexing questions of your world suddenly have clear answers? Little Wise’s debut EP, Moments of Clarity, grapples with these rare, ephemeral moments that intersperse an often confusing existence. And in a bittersweet appeal these songs ask: How might we hold onto such moments for just a little longer?
Little Wise is the Melbournian musical brain-child of singer-songwriter Sophie Klein. Perhaps small in stature, she’s nevertheless got some big stories to tell and some musical wisdom to impart. Accompanied by new band members Miguel Rios, Megan Bernard, Conrad Tracey and Arlene Fletcher, Soph will continue to spread a tasty trail of melodic crumbs for a growing fan-base, hungry for some of her warm folk-roots sounds. Her live shows sway between energetic and calming and incorporate a variety of instruments that include guitars, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and stomp-box.
Little Wise holds a beautiful ability to stir up visceral memories of great Australian story-tellers like Paul Kelly, filling those gaps of the heart by resonating with The Waifs, Angus and Julia Stone and Holly Throsby. In humbly trying to carve out a place among some great Australian musicians, Soph says she’s committed to an industry that faces a few unknowns for the future. “I’ve met some really generous professionals along the way who have shared their words of wisdom. It’s a nice community, where everyone sort of knows each other, like a village”, Sophie says. Her impetus for forming Little Wise and bringing these songs to the world derives a lot of its power from Soph’s personal experiences of self-discovery and is as much an act of love as it is a reflection of her enthusiasm for the art form. “Songwriters get a lot of joy out of sharing their music...so I guess being part of that process is a real honour”, she says.
The debut EP, Moments of Clarity, is now on the verge of being catapulted into the musical stratosphere with a launch at the Curtin Band Room on May, 30th. This five-track operation, including much-anticipated pre-released song Red Guitar, will cajole you into snuggling up by the fire with some cinnamon tea and close friends, and leave you pleading for a full album. Emerging from producer Aurora Jane’s Brunswick bungalow, the project brings together the talents of some seasoned and much-loved Melbourne musicians in Rosie Burgess (Rosie Burgess Trio), Sam Lohs (RBT; Fruit), Alex Burkoy (Tinpan Orange), Lou Cuming (Poco La Pax), Jude Perl and Paddy Montgomery. These songs seem to nurse an important, indispensable joy. Title track Moments of Clarity sets in place for the songs that follow a pervading feeling of curiosity and wonder and encourages the listener to contemplate why great, lucid moments of understanding are as evasive as quicksilver in the mind. In Soph’s words, the EP overall speaks to a “life that is pretty confusing, but is nevertheless punctuated by profound moments of clarity”.
To the delight of audiences, Soph et al have been entertaining at Victorian venues that include Northcote’s Bar 303, The Wesley Anne, and The Espy’s Gershwin Room. With a number of gigs on the horizon and many more songs and stories brewing in that sometimes-chaotic, sometimes-clear brain of hers, Soph and Little Wise are looking forward to a solid 2012 of music-making, crowd-pleasing and just plain loving.