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Hannah Field Talks Little May’s Rebirth As A Duo & Exploring A ‘Bolder Sound’ On Their New Album

Sydney’s Little May have released the first single from their upcoming album, which is set to drop next year. The single, titled ‘Lover’, is the first piece of new music from the band since their 2015 acclaimed debut album For The Company. With the departure of lead guitarist Annie Hamilton, ‘Lover’ is the first song the outfit – comprising of Liz Drummond and Hannah Field – have released as a duo.

In the six years since their formation, Little May have achieved some pretty notable feats. They’ve toured with The National, Mumford & Sons and The Vaccines, played sets at Laneway, Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival, and their single ‘Boardwalks’ has over 61 million streams on Spotify! And that’s just after the release of a single album! Safe to say, we’re keen to hear their follow-up record.

Having just completed a tour supporting The Rubens in December, the duo are all set to play Falls Festival before heading on a 3-date headlining tour in support of ‘Lover’ next February.

We caught up with Hannah to chat about the upcoming album, her love of podcasts, and her new year’s resolutions.

Music Feeds: You’ve mentioned your new single ‘Lover’ is one of the first songs you wrote from the upcoming album, when can fans expect that album? And does it have a name?

Hannah Field: We have a name in mind. We haven’t committed 100 per cent to it yet. But, the album should be out in the first half of next year.

MF: That’s cool! Do you know how many tracks will be on it?

HF: I think from memory – sorry, I’ve had a bit of a break from looking at the track listing for a while – I think there’s 11.

MF: In what ways is it similar and in what ways does it differ from your debut album?

HF: I guess it’s similar in the way that, you know, we’re still kind of exploring our lives as women in our twenties, but it is different in the way that the sound is a lot bolder, and we’re being a little bit less apologetic about the truth behind our stories. I think, just being a bit older now – when we wrote the first album we were, you know, in our early-twenties, and now four years later, naturally our experiences are going to be a little bit different and we’re going to have a different perception of things we’ve been through as people.

I’m really excited for people to hear the rawness of the lyrics and the music behind the album.

MF: I relate to that so much as a woman in her mid-twenties as well!

HF: Yeah, I mean, I only recently have come to reflect on my early-twenties and just understanding how much of a baby I was. Just still so young and still just so lost, and I think we’re always going to be searching for our true selves and all that kind of, cliché stuff. But I think when you do kind of get a taste of it, coming into your mid-twenties, it is really reassuring that there is the capacity to start to understand yourself a little bit deeper.

I think everyone always speaks about their thirties being like, this incredible time. Especially for women, I’ve heard women say that a lot where it’s like – your thirties, you really do come into your own – so I think, you know, we’re starting to like, see that transition and feel that transition, like, Liz and I, so that’s nice.

MF: I totally get that! I’m also kind of like, keen for my thirties in a weird way. I used to be terrified of turning thirty, but now I’m like ‘oh, you know, could be fun’…

HF: Exactly! Me too! It was always this deep fear of getting older, and I think maybe from what you’re saying you felt the same way of like, age was just this like, scary thing. But now it’s becoming this really exciting thing that I think we’re all starting to look forward to, and realising it’s actually a really great thing, not an end-of-your-life situation.

MF: Exactly! I wish I could go back in time and tell that to twenty-year-old me when I was freaked out about turning twenty.

HF: Me too! I remember turning twenty-three and being like ‘it’s done, I’m done,’ [laughs] ‘I don’t know what I want to do with my life, it’s over’, but we just keep changing, keep re-evaluating what we need.

MF: I imagine there’s a fair bit of stress and pressure that can come with creating a follow-up after the success of your debut album. Did you feel that at all with this new record?

HF: Definitely. I think there were a few things that came into play in relation to nerves and the pressure we put on ourselves. I think, you know, having Annie [Hamilton] leave the band and then being this new duo…

I think three years is a pretty scary amount of time, especially in this day and age, to be away for, because we all have such short attention spans these days. So, I think we were nervous, that no one would kind of, care. But then with that came this level of acceptance, just remembering why we write music. Why we are excited about this release is because it is so honest, and I think as much as I love the first album, it definitely was this kind of shadowy metaphorical album, and I think this new one will be just a lot more upfront.

But yeah, I think the nerves are always going to be there. Our egos will always want people to love what we create, and that’s the same, probably, for anyone in any artistic space. I’m just really excited for people to hear, like, a deeper truth that Liz [Drummond] and I have shared and made together.

MF: Did you find that you were writing during that three year break for this album, or was there a big gap?

HF: No, we were writing pretty much the whole time. We had gaps where we really weren’t feeling it, and probably didn’t want to be around each other, necessarily. That’s what happens – Liz and I have known each other since we were 15-years-old and we’re like sisters, so I think sometimes we’re like ‘let’s just have a little break from this process for a minute’.

But yeah, we started writing it three years ago and wrote the last song that made it onto the album after the album was made [laughs]. We added it to the track listing. It was all very last minute, but I think sometimes when you feel like a project is finished and then you go back into a creative space, there’s a lot less pressure and sometimes that can result in something you didn’t know you needed.

MF: Was it just like you wrote a song and were like ‘oh, this just has to be on there!’?

HF: [Laughs] Yeah, well we actually created this little challenge which was 20 song ideas in 12 hours, and we bunkered down in this studio. For about the first six hours we were just so pissed off, we were like ‘this is such a shit idea, nothing good’s gonna come from it, we’re happy with the album’. But then within about two hour we had three songs that we both were really happy with and really loved and it was something really special.

Having a guitar and two voices sometimes takes you back to why you started, and I think that stripped-back, pure result of just a song like that, I think sometimes it reminds you of what people fell in love with in the first place.

MF: What are your favourite albums from 2018?

HF: Favourite albums! Oh my gosh, okay, I just need to double check if this is from 2018! Do you know off the top of your head if Aldous Harding’s Party was 2018?

MF: I don’t, sorry!

HF: That’s okay, I’m just gonna check… Nooo, it was 2017 [laughs]! Uh, I’m just trying to think. Middle Kids [Lost Friends], I think that was a fantastic release. Who else did I listen to this year…

MF: I mean, you can include the one from last year if you listened to it a lot this year. I play that game whenever I’m making my list!

HF: Yeah, I’m just like a bit of an old soul, so I think new music is hard for me sometimes. Not that I don’t like it, I love it, but I tend to go back to what I know.

MF: So do I, that’s why it’s so hard for me! People are like “your list has five albums from five years ago” and I’m like “yeah, I know”.

HF: I know! Like, the albums I was obsessed with last year were Capacity by Big Thief, Party, Julia Jacklin [Don’t Let The Kids Win], Angel Olsen [Phases], but these were all from last year or the year before. I think the reason why they stick in my mind is because they were really influential for me when we were creating this album.

MF: Are you more an individual song person than an album person? Like, rather than listen to an album the whole way through, do you find songs you like?

HF: Yes and no. I listen to records that my housemates put on and I just kind of love that I’m listening to what other people love. I tend to take a break from music a lot of the time because I just feel a bit overstimulated when I’m listening and trying to write at the same time. So, I’m a massive podcast girl [laughs].

MF: Ooh, what are your podcast recommendations?

HF: Oh my gosh, okay! I have so many! I’m listening to What’s Underneath at the moment, which is like join the self-acceptance revolution, and that’s really good. These two women, they’re a mother and daughter and they have these really prolific conversations with artists. I like Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel, she’s like a sex therapist, she’s got the most incredible voice. She has these conversations with couples and you get to listen in, and it’s just incredible to listen to the shit people go through. THIS AMERICAN LIFE, The Teacher’s Pet, Savage Lovecast. Conversations is good on ABC with Richard Tyler. Do you listen to podcasts?

MF: Sometimes! I’ve been getting into them lately. I got really into Lore, have you heard that one?

HF: No!

MF: It’s pretty good, it’s got this guy called Aaron Mahnke and he does these podcasts about different folklore.

HF: Oh cool, okay, I’m gonna write that down! Folklore – I don’t really know what that means!

MF: Yeah, it’s like tales from 200 years ago when something weird fell out of the sky and no one knew what it was, or almost like, murder-mystery kind of stuff.

HF: Yes, I love that stuff, I’m like, all about murder-mysteries, so thank you!

MF: No worries, I’ve written down some of the ones you’ve mentioned too, ’cause I really want to get more into podcasts. Last question, do you have any new year’s resolutions for 2019?

HF: Yeah, I think to have more self-acceptance. I really wanna try and be a little bit more present and appreciate my life as it is now, because I think I tend to think about the past and the future a lot, especially this last couple of years, thinking about Little May and what our future will be. Something I’ve really tried to focus on, even in the last few months with the new release is just to really be here and enjoy now. I think that’s one thing that I’m really looking forward to making a priority in 2019.

Little May 2019 Tour Dates

Friday, 15th February

Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 16th February

Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 22nd February

Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

Tickets: Official Website

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