Back You are here: Home Interviews Feature Interview: Annie Hamilton 'Little May'

Feature Interview: Annie Hamilton 'Little May'

After becoming one of Australia's most talked about bands in 2014 off the back of their ethereal debut EP, and in particular their Hype Machine topping single Hide, Little May have only increased their productivity in 2015. Trio Annie Hamilton, Liz Drummond, and Hannah Field have toured with Mumford & Sons and Best Coast, played at Bonnaroo, and recorded their debut LP, 'For the Company', with the National's Aaron Dessner. Somehow, guitarist Annie Hamilton found the time to talk to us about the hectic world Little May currently inhabit.

Good morning Annie! How exciting is this? Things are about to start happening really quickly in the Little May world.

It’s crazy at the moment!

I want to know how you girls manage the weight of expectations that comes with the sort of meteoric rise you’ve had as a band?

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in different pressures and things like that, especially when we are trying to be creative. In recording the album, then and there, we just had to sit back and say we’re just going to keep doing what we are doing and find a balance between listening to people’s opinions but also blocking out a lot of it so we can just do our thing rather than trying to please everyone. When we figured we were never going to please everyone, it was a lot easier do to what we were going to do and hopefully please some people.

Speaking of other people’s input, you’ve had nothing but nice things to say about 'For the Company' producer Aaron Dessner. How did you guys set that up?

It’s actually pretty crazy. We all sat down and we were thinking about who we could approach to produce the album, and we wrote a list of about three producers with Aaron at the top of our dream list. Our manager then sent an email through the ‘Contact Us’ tab of the National’s website saying “Hey, I manage a band from Sydney called Little May, they’re about to record an album, would you be interested in working with them?” expecting to hear nothing back, but then he actually replied saying he was interested. We were all, like… Mind blown. We did not expect that at all.

I love that, it’s so working class, almost. Almost like applying for a job.

I know, who even reads that?

What email does that even go to?

Who knows, but he replied! We set up a phone call with him. It was all very surreal.

I can already see a bit of Dessner’s influence in the grand percussion and dark stormy keys of Home. Do you think that’s moved you away from the folkier elements of your 2014 self-titled EP?

Yes. It’s actually interesting, even though we released the EP late last year, we’d actually been working on it for about three years, and some of the songs we had written were three or four years old from back when we first started making music. The EP definitely reflects where we first started as a band, and that definitely is a folkier sound. Over the last couple of years as we’ve been writing, though, we’ve developed our sound, and getting Cat and Mark into our live band (drums and bass/synth), the music has naturally developed away from that softer sound. I think we were already moving away from it, but we just found the perfect producer to bring that out.

Is making Hide a bonus track on your debut album a little nod back to the start of the band and how far you’ve come?

Definitely! We made a very conscious decision to make the album a very cohesive body of work so all the songs flow in to each other and relate to each other and all sound very similar. There’s a huge difference now between our album and our earlier singles and EP, and there was an ongoing discussion around Hide, because it was kind of the song that made people sit up and take notice of us and a lot of people wanted it on the album, but we didn’t feel like it fit in with the body of work that we had just recorded. So we had a vote, and we’ve got that nod to the past but also a degree of separation from the album. It’s a win-win.

A few things everyone can and has agreed about Little May’s music: it’s haunting, sombre, dark, and moody. But I’m talking to you right now, Annie, and you’re full of bubbles and energy and ideas. I’m wondering if it’s negative or hurtful energy and experiences that is best translated by your music?

I think so. When the three of us are together, you know, we’re happy people with sense of humours, we’re joking around. The music, though, is a way for us to get any negative feelings out. It’s very introspective, very reflective, looking back on situations, and especially for Hannah, who writes a lot of the lyrics, I think it’s very therapeutic.

Do you think it’s better to write about your own experiences, or abstract ideas and scenarios when you’re making music?

I think it makes more sense for me to write about your own experiences rather than a fictional story. I’m definitely interested in those sorts of stories, but my own tend to come from experience.

I want to talk about your upcoming tour. That’s a monster list of shows. You’ll be much better travelled than most your age. Have you already been to most countries on the tour?

No, actually! Before Little May I did a bit of backpacking, I didn’t really go to Europe, spent time in Nepal, Asia and stuff but I never made it to Europe or the UK, so it’s pretty amazing. I think we get to go to Belgium? That’s incredible!

You know you’ve made it when you’re playing a show in Brussels. One show you will be playing at the end of the year is Falls Festival. What does that mean to you and the band?

Well I’ve been to Falls a few times now as a spectator, but it’s incredibly bizarre going to perform. We’re all so excited, we finish at Byron and then have a few days to chill out, see some bands, it’ll be really fun.

The festival experience must be different as an artist?

Completely. People asked us about Bonnaroo, you know, how was that, did you see any great bands? We didn’t, we literally drove in, unpacked, played our set, packed up and left. It wasn’t a festival experience at all, it was quite stressful. Hopefully at Falls we get the opportunity to just get some food and... Hang out, you know?

Little May 'For the Company' Tour Dates

Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW
The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth WA

Related Articles

Our Community

  • Facebook
  • instagram
  • Twitter
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Google+

Contact Us

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.