Little May return from their three-year hiatus with a fresh approach

Little May return from their three-year hiatus with a fresh approach

Words by Scott Hudson

The duo’s latest release is the perfect prelude to their next chapter.

Little May have returned from a three-year hiatus – if touring with The National and The Rubens in between releases doesn’t waver from the term.

The folk act made a name for themselves in 2014 with their track ‘Boardwalks’ off their self-titled debut EP and followed up with their debut album For The Company in 2015 before returning in October last year with the single ‘Lover’.

“We’ve definitely changed as a band, we’re now a two-piece,” Hannah Field explains. Field and Liz Drummond are the ‘two-piece’ in question. “We were in our very early twenties when we first started writing music and now we feel like we’re a bit more mature and can write about those experiences in a more appealing way to ourselves.”

But the outfit’s roster isn’t the only thing that has changed with time; Little May’s forthcoming album, Blame My Body, produces a diverse mix of sounds that divert from the moody folk sound of their earlier releases.In particular, Blame My Body’s singles, ‘Apples’ and ‘Lover’, have demonstrated the new sound strewn with more pop sensibilities than ever before.

“I think we just gave ourselves permission to create music we actually listen to,” Field says. “We started as a folk band because we only had an acoustic guitar – that’s how we started writing. As much as I like folk music, Little May is two people, so we kind of had to find something that we both loved. The first album and the EP is very mellow and I think we just felt like a bit of a change.”

Other motives came to mind, Field recollects. Most of them dance related.

“I think, subconsciously, we thought ‘okay, if we’re going to be playing these songs for a year, we want to be able to dance a little bit’. On For the Company we have ‘Remind Me’ and in our live set, it was the only one we could dance to. I could kick my leg out and do a full Elaine Benes leg dance. It was the only opportunity we had because the rest was very emo-ish (emotional).”

For some artists, three years is a long time between releases but for Field and Drummond, that time wasn’t wasted.

“We wrote about 30 songs all up,” Field recollects. “We just really wanted to take our time because the first album was done so quickly. We went the complete opposite end of the spectrum with this one.”

Little May’s music video for ‘Apple’ has revealed another change from the duo. Having established themselves with clips filled with symbolism and, in some cases, elaborate FX (‘Seven Hours’ features a whale swimming in the sky), the video for the single features the two simply rocking along to a bright colour palette.

“When we started out with the first EP, we were still really green and I didn’t like to get involved with the video clip side of things because I felt like I didn’t know what was cool or what would work. It was – ‘how about we try get deep’.

“I think that’s really cool and does have a place [but] because this album is quite personal and there is a bit of heaviness there, I think Liz and I were like ‘let’s have a little bit of fun’ and balance out if there is any darkness in the song.”

The band are back and ready to stretch their legs with new music, new sounds and maybe some new dance moves, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait long for the next Little May instalment.

“I love making albums and I love bodies of work but after that, I’m like – it’d be good to just release a single.”

Little May’s sophomore album, Blame My Body, is out Friday May 3 via Dew Process/Universal Music Australia.