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Abbe May


Abbe May plays her first show for the year this Friday, February 7, at the Rosemount Hotel with Rum Jungle and Kučka. BOB GORDON reports.

For Abbe May, the year that was 2013 was the year of Kiss My Apocalypse – an album that saw changes in different areas of her career.

“It was ridiculous,” she says. “It seems every time we look back on the last year, the mistakes and real triumphs seem more obvious. I don’t like looking back. Makes me tetchy.”

As it stands, the ARIA Award-nominated Kiss My Apocalypse and its dark, dream pop climes ushered in a new era for May in terms of profile. Fortunately, triple j got behind the album (it was nominated for a J Award, and ended up with several Hottest 100 nods) as they have for much of May’s work in recent years – but not all of it. Given the ‘J-Debate’ of recent weeks, May is circumspect.

“triple j does more for the Australian community of musicians than they are currently being credited for,” she says. “And they certainly do a lot more for the community than whinging does.

“I really enjoy triple j, I hear some great music on there. Sometimes they play my singles; sometimes they don’t… of course I love it when they do, but I don’t dislike the station when they don’t play my work because I don’t make music to achieve airplay. And I certainly don’t believe the world owes me success. That would be a terrible attitude.

“I dig triple j and I think Kingsmill does a great job steering the ship. I hope they prosper long into the future.”

As for the future, it will be different, what with May’s brother Doug vacating the guitarist role in her band after many years as her six-string foil.

“Doug leaving was the saddest time in my life for a long while,” may ponders. “I’m still working out what I want to do in the wake of his departure.”

Even so, goals have to be set, but learning from the past is all important.

“I’m building a studio and am learning how to record,” May explains. “Demos at first. I will be taking on new management and record labels both here and in the UK. Independent releases are fine and all, but my god they are exhausting.

“The Kiss My Apocalypse release was so hectic I ended up in hospital. No more of that. 2014 is the year of smart moves that conserve energy for stage and studio.”

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