Little May return with Blame My Body

Little May return with Blame My Body

The Sydney indie duo talk confidence, boldness and stepping out of the shadows as they release their first new music in more than three years.

It’s been three and a half years years since their last album, but Australian indie folk/pop/rock duo Little May are back. Their new album Blame My Body, out on 3 May, is a collection of songs that comes with a healthy dose of creative and personal evolution for members Liz Drummond and Hannah Field. “In the early days [I had] this feeling of being a bit of a fraud,” Field reveals. “With Blame My Body it was like, ‘No more of this bullshit of feeling bad about myself or wanting to check myself all the time.’ You can hear more confidence in the album because of that. We are just unashamedly ourselves and proud of that.”

Little May was formed by high school friends Drummond and Field, and Annie Hamilton, who left the band in 2017. Their self-titled debut EP appeared in 2014 followed by their first album For the Company the following year. The band quickly attracted critical praise – and fans, who have racked them up over 110 million streams worldwide to date. Then, after their initial success, it’s fair to say that Little May went quiet.

Blame My Body took around two years to write and record, and both Drummond and Field say the process of completing the album wasn’t always easy. “I guess we did stumble around a bit,” Drummond says. “There was a lot of moving around and a lot of reconsidering and re-recording things, and then going back to the original recordings.” The recording process started at Drummond’s parents’ rural property where they produced ten demos in just two days – the “farm recordings”, Little May call them. Ultimately, several of these ‘demos’ made the final cut of the album after attempts to re-record them failed to capture the original sound. “There were times where we second-guessed songs or thought we needed to re-record them because we thought, ‘Oh, you need to do it in a big studio with better gear.’ And that’s not true,” Drummond says. ‘They Can See’, a raw look at complicated relationships, the electric, almost clubby ‘River’ and the gentle, country-infused ‘Night Blindness’ are all tracks that made the final cut of the album in their original demo form. “‘Night Blindness’ we recorded three times,” Field reveals. “It was ridiculous! One time we had strings [on it]. We were trying to make it something that it’s not.” On the original demo version, Drummond played her guitar while lying on the floor. “And I was singing sitting on the ground near an amp,” Field chimes in. “I had a bit of a cold at one point and I go a tiny bit flat but I was like, ‘Fuck it, it’s cool.’ Flaws are interesting sometimes.”

Blame My Body sees a marked progression in Little May’s sound. Not only Drummond and Field moved into a rockier, more beat-y terrain – the driving guitar rhythm in first album single ‘Lover’ signals the shift – but they have built on it with addictive melodies, rich layered vocals, and lyrics that are raw, personal and at times brutally honest. “I think we both decided that we wanted to be really bold, but not in a way that was forced,” Drummond says. “We are quite bold people, but when we were younger we probably weren’t as confident or sure of ourselves musically or as people. I really see this album as us coming out of our shells more and not being afraid to go harder.”

And go hard they certainly go. On third single ‘As Loving Should’, a melancholy but buzzy guitar track which Drummond nominates as one of her favourites on the album, Field confronts a particularly difficult period in her life when she developed a serious dependence on alcohol. “I chose the bottle over you too many times,” she sings. “I felt a huge weight off my shoulders, as clichéd as that sounds,” Field says of the single’s release. “I was very emotional that day, I think because that was such a real problem in my life for quite a few years and I had never written about it because I didn’t want to upset my parents or want anyone to worry about me. But it was still in there. When that song came out I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m free of that – I don’t feel embarrassed.’ It was really nice.”

The album’s title track is a particularly captivating, albeit dark, listen, with its driving, brooding beat starting out as little more than a plucked guitar before the song develops into a synth-driven, almost dancefloor-esque banger. The lyrics echo the dense sound of the music with hints of violence mixed with sex. “You think you own your women … Blame my body / Touch it twice / Don’t say sorry / You’re too nice”, Field sings, before challenging “Remember that time you thought you broke me? / Well how much fun was that?”

“‘Blame My Body’ is always a surprise [when I listen to it],” Field says. “I always hear something new Liz has put in on a synth or something. But the song is also a little bit tricky for me to listen to because it’s a bit confronting.” Both Field and Drummond agree it is their favourite track on the album. “It was one of the most creative songs from a production standpoint and instrumentally we got pretty creative with it,” Drummond says. Both felt taking the song’s name as their album title tied in with their message of being bold. “When we were looking at the potential album title, the only one that we were avoiding was ‘Blame My Body’, Field reveals. “I think that was a good point in itself – why were we avoiding it?” Drummond adds. “In the end we went with it because it scared us and you have to do that and step into the fear because that’s the message we’re trying to get across with the album – the honesty,” Field continues. “We could have gone with something more gentle, but I’m glad we went with it.”

Drummond and Field have both found the experience of being bold exciting for them personally, and they are also aware of how being real and honest in their music can also help others. “We definitely thought about how [the album] would affect listeners,” Field says. “There’s a song on the album called ‘Be My Man Be My Woman’ and I feel whenever we perform it – ‘Be my man be my woman / Be my wall be my flower / Be my fear be my power’ – we’re playing it for other people who may be going through something similar, and we’re saying, ‘You can step out of whatever shadow you’re standing in.’” Drummond concurs: “I find that song really powerful. It’s saying: here’s two different things – just be whatever. Be all of it. Fear can become power. We did have an intention of that song being an anthemic release, like a big sigh or a big roar.”

Little May might have been away from music for several years, but the time out has done them nothing but good. Blame My Body is an outstanding collection of music – intelligent, thought-provoking, beautifully produced and performed; it leaves you feeling a multitude of feelings, all of them good. And, they say, there isn’t another three-year gap between music on the horizon. “After the break, I think we’ve had enough time to discover who we are musically,” Field says. “We haven’t really written that much since [finishing the album] and we really, really want to start writing again. It will be exciting to see what comes out.”

You can follow Little May on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Blame My Body is out on 3 May. You can download it on iTunes or stream on Spotify.

Tour dates

Little May will be performing across Europe in September. For more info and tickets click here

7 September – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, UK

8 September – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK

10 September – Heaven, London, UK

12 September – Le Pop-Up du Label, Paris, France

13 September – Bitterzoet, Amsterdam, Netherlands

14 September – Ancienne Belgique – AB Club, Brussels, Belgium

16 September – Luxor, Cologne, Germany

17 September – Milla, Munich, Germany

18 September – Musik & Frieden, Berlin, Germany

23 September – VEGA Musikkens Hus – Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, Denmark

Blame My Body Album Art.jpg
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