Little May are an alternative folk trio from Sydney, Australia. They released their self titled E.P on October 14th 2014. They have been compared to their contemporaries Haim, however, I feel their sound is more along the lines of Mazzy Star. Their E.P showcases sweeping arrangements and breathy female vocals which gives this record a certain kind of intimate quality like that of Mazzy Star. Their sound is cinematic and epic and could soundtrack a modern hipster romantic comedy. They have garnered praise amongst the music press for their lyricism and story telling abilities as well as their musicianship. They have been hyped as a band to watch.
The E.P opens with the track Dust. I have previously mentioned the intimate quality of this music and I believed this is thanks to the sweet clarity of the vocals. The harmonies have a quality that adds an epic sound along with the sweeping guitars. Lyrically, the song may verge slightly on cliche for my tastes. The “burning sun” and “fire” metaphors are definitely something I’ve heard before in the folk alternative genre. In saying that, musically the song is quite beautiful. The lyrical theme of that is longing for a summer love.
The next track is entitled Hide. There is a lustful quality to this track. Lyrically, there seems to be a theme of romantic rivalry. Musically, the track is laden with drums that build to a battle-cry and riffs that tingle along throughout the track. Again lyrically, they fail to grab me. Musically, the track is quite beautiful, there is masterful musicianship here. Midnight Hour is an acoustic guitar led track along with more feminine harmonies. I have to compliment the beautiful vocals on this E.P. I quite enjoyed the hooks here sang with a solemn drawl.
The leading single off Little May is Bones. This song is lyrically stronger than the previous tracks I’ve mentioned. The vocal delivery immediately drew me in as well as the intensity of the lyrics, “do you feel it in your bones like I do?”. Musically, the song is led along with pianos and sweeping guitars. I believe Bones was a strong single choice off Little May. As a low-fi folk alternative track, this track stands strong individually. The E.P finishes with the track Boardwalks. It opens with a striking jangling guitar riff, again Little May treat us to more beautiful and striking vocals. Boardwalks is a less somber track with an optimistic atmosphere. It’s a beautiful way to end the E.P. Little May is a fine folk/alternative release. I can here Fleetwood Mac influences as well as a hint of Mazzy Star. It may not have lit much of my fire in parts but it is a beautiful contemporary folk release especially for the masterful musicianship and gorgeous vocals. I’d give this release a healthy seven out of ten.
Little May is out now off Capitol Records.