MayMay’s folk tinged sounds caught our attention earlier this year with their beautifully sparse self-titled EP. Laurel Simmons (who was a member of Loch Lomond), the songwriter behind the project, has put together an ever-changing cast to assist in creating her intimate and acoustic songs – one of which happens to be Heather Woods Broderick. It turns out the EP was just the start of something rather special. With an album in the can (the gorgeous And So I Place You In The Setting Sun released on Flau Records) and tours being booked, we have a feeling 2012 is the year of MayMay.
Bowlegs: So the gorgeous, self-titled EP was recorded back in 2008 – but only now does it see the light of day – where’s it been hiding?!
Laurel: The E.P is a collection of songs that I was not originally intending on releasing. It was not until Flau and I began communication about a release of my more recently written/recorded songs on And So I Place You In The Setting Sun that I thought to share. Flau decided to release them too.
Bowlegs: The songs started as an ode to friends and family who were back in Arizona whilst you were in Portland. Why were you in Portland, and when did you realise the project was coming together?
Laurel: I moved to Portland in 2005 to indulge a long time desire to move to the Northwest, aware of the concentration of music here. May May became a performing project after E.P songs were recorded and I began playing them live.
Bowlegs: How does one go about getting Heather Woods Broderick on their debut release? How was she to work with?
Laurel: Heather and I are long time dear friends. She and I were the original May May line up. Performing E.P songs with me on guitar, Heather on Cello and vocal harmonies.
Bowlegs: I adore the track Born a Fable – what is that track about?
Laurel: Thank you….I suppose it was a song written for my younger self. Words to remind myself of where I came from and what I believe.
Bowlegs: These songs are incredibly sparse and feel openly melancholic? Are the words from experiences? What records influenced this sound?
Laurel: Each of the songs are really just a thoughtful expression of monumental transitions in my life, at the time. Though I am not exactly sure sounds that were influencing the writing, I was in Loch Lomond at the time, the use of string arrangements were most likely influenced a bit.
Bowlegs: Would you class your music as a form of modern-folk? How do you market music that is purposefully slow and deep with thought, is it a difficult task?
Laurel: mmmm…. Marketing….I’m not sure that I am very good at that. It does seem that there are always a few ears that prefer slow, melodic aspects of music.
Bowlegs: What’s the live set up for you at the moment? Many live dates booked in?
Laurel: MayMay has just returned from a Japanese tour. There are plans to be in Europe early next year. May May is currently performing as a three piece, Guitar, piano and vocal harmonies – accompanied by some pedalsteel, beats and soundscapes. Hopefully we’ll incorporate a few other members for the European tour.
Bowlegs: Finally what records released this year have you been getting in to?
Laurel: Orcas (Benoit Pilard+ the Sight Below) and the most recent Beach House release Bloom.
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