Updated: May 2, 2019
Let’s start with a hearty welcome return to the Sydney duo Little May. Blame My Body is the third record from the indie folk songstresses after a downsizing last year and is the first we’ve heard of them since their acclaimed 2015 released For the Company. Taking the restructure as a chance to put themselves under the microscope, Hannah Fields and Liz Drummand have returned with a sonically strong and earnestly emotively record that will hook your ears and your heart.
“Hannah and I were in agreeance that we wanted [this record] to be bold,” Drummand explains. “We wanted to experiment with different sounds and to be a lot rawer with it, and with the emotions that came out of it.”
Lover starts the record strong, with a driving bass drum that follow through the track Little May are back and they’re not going anyway. The lead single released at the end of 2018, the lasses stand their own ground “You are not a lover, you are not a friend”, setting a scene for a record that isn’t here to whinge or complain. This isn’t a ‘breakup album’. This is an album that boasts self confidence and self assurance in a relatable and empowering way.
“I would say Blame My Body is about us saying whatever we want, sounding how we want to sound, and telling ourselves that it’s okay to be honest and to grow and that it’s okay not to know the answer just yet. That’s the one important thing for both of us at the moment, to be bolder and don’t doubt ourselves so much,” says Fields.
A collaborative writing process often sees a divide in songs, with the goal being to create a collection of songs rather than a cohesive body of work. However the collaboration between Hannah and Liz is a remarkable testament to their friendship and closeness. Exploring similar themes of self-discovery, and exploring similar sonic tonalities, both Hannah and Liz share an incredible bond that is palpable in each track.
Catchy hooks, and some rock influences have taken the reigns and can often distract from the deeply personal undertones that tie this album together. Blame My Body, the titular track of the record brings this to the forefront. Buried underneath a jovial melody is Fields’ battle with alcoholism. “I chose the bottle over you so many times, no more empty promises this body is mine” she recounts. But as with the other songs on the record, whilst being deeply personal, there is an uplifting nature to the record. We’re not here to wallow in the past, but look forward to the future.
There’s a rawness that remains in the Little May voice that instantly connects with the listener. The exploration of the self is a beautiful experience and Blame My Body brings this concept to the forefront, delivering some seriously exceptional songwriting in both a lyrical and melodic sense.
Night Blindness shines through as a highlight of the record. A stripped back tune that features a quick 2mins 15secs of utter bliss, a low point of the album that also sores as a high point. Pining for a future that’s yet to come, Hannah’s soft, gorgeous vocals take a step back in momentum of the record and takes refuge in a hopeful daydream. “Is it that time already, I swear one day there will be no circus, there will just be our backyard, and all our friends and loved ones, I can see them by our side”. Letting go of previous insecurities and giving yourself to someone else, Night Blindness is a soft and poignant moment that won’t be forgotten by this writer anytime soon.
"We went into this record wanting to be bold & honest with ourselves, without shame. In an ideal world, everything would be that simple. Being in a band and making music is complex. Being a human being is complex. Working with other human beings is complex. Creativity in its raw form is fluid, so it’s not easy to define the process or the meaning behind it. We aren’t perfect, we don’t have all the answers, we are young, and we’re changing everyday. Both of us had very different experiences whilst making this record, too. We wrote these songs separately and together, and in the process there was fear, freedom, denial, shame, love, acknowledgment, anger, surprise and confusion. We both became aware of ourselves and each other a little more. We tried to make sense of the world during a specific time, and in our own ways. Some of these songs were written consciously, some were written unconsciously. We wrote them to self soothe, and to have a good time. We had an incredible time making this record."
Little May’s return is triumphant. Each track stands on their own as an empowering tale. No sophomore slump for the Sydney-siders. Little May have risen from the ashes and like a phoenix, sore with beauty, and hopefully, the magic has only just begun.
Blame My Body is now available for PRE-ORDER via Dew Process & Universal Music Australia and releases Friday May 3rd 2019. Stay tuned for tour dates and streams on release day