This Female Trio Is the One to Watch at Splendour
It’d be an understatement to say that the musical geniuses who formed indie-meets-folk music act, Little May, have come a long way since their first gig in a pizza restaurant in Bathurst back in 2012.
Since the hit release of their eponymous EP, the talents behind the three-piece band—Liz Drummond (vocals and guitar), Hannah Field (lead vocals), and Annie Hamilton (guitar and backing vocals)—won hearts both locally and abroad and are now regulars on the international festival circuit.
The Sydney locals and long-time friends are taking centre stage in Byron Bay this weekend for Splendour in the Grass festival to perform their music that they describe as “melodic, restrained, and meditative.” When watching this group perform, their obvious connection, joy for entertaining, and talent for producing music is mesmerising.
We caught up with Hamilton to chat about their creative process, influences, and their most memorable career highlight to date—Splendour, you’re in for a treat.
MYDOMAINE: When and how was Little May born?
LITTLE MAY: Liz [Drummond] and Hanah [Field] started playing covers and writing songs together while they were at school, but I joined in 2012 and we formed Little May. We started off playing cover gigs and open mic nights—our first gig was in a pizza restaurant in Bathurst.
MD: Where did the name Little May come from?
LM: I wish we had a good story for this, but we actually don't—I think Liz's mum came up with it, which is funny—thinking of band names is hard!
MD: Where are you all originally from and now based?
LM: We all grew up in Sydney, and most of us are still here, but Hannah has recently moved to Melbourne. Hopefully we can go down for a slumber party sometime soon—Melbourne is fun.
MD: Which artists are your biggest influencers?
LM: The National are a big one for all of us—I also personally love Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, The Drones, and Sufjan Stevens.
MD: What do you love most about creating music?
LM: It's pretty awesome to be able to collaborate with such talented musicians as Liz and Hannah on a daily basis. We all have very different tastes and styles so it's really cool seeing how songs end up when we each put our individual touches on them.
MD: What do you love most about performing your music?
LM: There's nothing quite like the adrenalin rush that hits as you're about to go on stage. Playing music together is such an amazing experience and it's so awesome to be able to share it with an audience. We feel very lucky that people actually want to come and watch us play.
MD: What is your song-writing process?
LM: It changes depending on the song—sometimes one of us will write an entire song on our own, other times we might send snippets of ideas and collaborate over email, and sometimes we'll go away on a writing trip and sit down together for a few days to work on things. Sometimes we can smash out an entire song in a few hours, other times it takes years to finish a song. You never know how it's going to end up until it's finished.
MD: What is your favourite song on the new album and why?
LM: My favourite song is Cicadas—I love the subtlety of the song. It's very meditative and has a lot of underlying tension. We've reworked it a bit for our live set and its super fun to play live.
MD: What is the most memorable show or festival you’ve ever played at?
LM: One of the most memorable festival sets was at Southside Festival in Germany last year. We'd been overseas for three months recording and touring, and this was our last show before heading home. We were on early in the day and were expecting to be playing to a very empty tent, but we walked on stage and there was a little crowd waiting for us, who ended up singing along to some of the songs. It was a very special moment for us that we won't be forgetting anytime soon.
MD: Will this year be your first appearance at Splendour in the Grass 2016?
LM: No, we played Splendour in the Grass in 2014, and it was awesome! It was our first major festival so it was a very memorable experience.
MD: What makes you excited to perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016?
LM: Splendour is just such a fun festival—I've been before just as an audience member before the band started, so to be on stage playing is very surreal. We're going up for the whole festival so it should be a super fun few days.
MD: What does an average day look like for Little May?
LM: An average day on tour is like this—wake up (feeling tired and possibly slightly hungover); get up and pack bags; go on search for coffee and delicious breakfast; drive for many hours; play lots of silly car games; arrive at venue; unload gear; sound check; have a dressing room nap; play gig; pack up gear; go to sleep—yay!
MD: How would you describe your musical style in three words?
LM: Melodic, restrained, meditative.
MD: What is your all-time favourite song?
LM: This is a hard one... There are too many to choose one but a top contender would be 'Touched' by Vast—it's so scary.
Find out what all the fuss is about and shop Little May’s new album, For the Company.
Are you heading to Splendour? Which acts are you looking forward to? Tell us below!