Have you ever had a moment of clarity? A fleeting epiphany during which all your troubles melt away and the perplexing questions of your world suddenly have clear answers? Little Wise’s debut EP, Moments of Clarity, grapples with these rare, ephemeral moments that intersperse an often confusing existence. And in a bittersweet appeal these songs ask: How might we hold onto such moments for just a little longer?
Little Wise is the Melbournian musical brain-child of singer-songwriter Sophie Klein. Perhaps small in stature, she’s nevertheless got some big stories to tell and some musical wisdom to impart. Accompanied by band members Miguel Rios (guitar and mandolin), Megan Bernard (electric guitar), Conrad Tracey (drums) and Arlene Fletcher (double bass), Sophie continues to spread a tasty trail of melodic crumbs for a growing fan-base, hungry for some of her warm folk-roots sounds. Little Wise’s live shows sway between energetic and calming and their earthy tones draw on a variety of genres including folk, roots, blues, rock and soul.
Little Wise holds a beautiful ability to stir up visceral memories of great Australian storytellers like Paul Kelly, filling those gaps of the heart by resonating with The Waifs, Angus and Julia Stone and Holly Throsby. In humbly trying to carve out a place among some great Australian musicians, Soph says she’s committed to an industry that faces a few unknowns for the future. “I’ve met some really generous professionals along the way who have shared their words of wisdom. It’s a nice community, where everyone sort of knows each other, like a village”, Sophie says. Her impetus for forming Little Wise and bringing these songs to the world derives a lot of its power from Soph’s personal experiences of self-discovery and is as much an act of love as it is a reflection of her enthusiasm for the art form. “Songwriters get a lot of joy out of sharing their music…so I guess being part of that process is a real honour”, she says.
The debut EP, Moments of Clarity, was released on Wednesday 30th May, with a launch at the Curtin Band Room in Melbourne. This five-track operation, including much-anticipated pre-released song Red Guitar, will cajole you into snuggling up by the fire with some cinnamon tea and close friends, and leave you pleading for a full album. Incorporating Sophie’s gentle and wistful vocal style, it has been deemed “one of the sweetest EPs to be released this year” (Dave Griffiths, Buzz Media). Emerging from producer Aurora Jane’s Brunswick bungalow, the project brings together the talents of some seasoned and much-loved Melbourne musicians in Rosie Burgess (Rosie Burgess Trio), Sam Lohs (RBT; Fruit), Alex Burkoy (Tinpan Orange), Lou Cuming (Poco La Pax), Jude Perl and Paddy Montgomery (Oh Pep!; Mustered Courage). These songs seem to nurse an important, indispensible joy. Title track Moments of Clarity sets in place for the songs that follow a pervading feeling of curiosity and wonder and encourages the listener to contemplate why great, lucid moments of understanding are as evasive as quicksilver in the mind. In Soph’s words, the EP overall speaks to a “life that is pretty confusing, but is nevertheless punctuated by profound moments of clarity”.
With a number of gigs on the horizon and many more songs and stories brewing in that sometimes-chaotic, sometimes-clear brain of hers, Soph and Little Wise are looking forward to a solid 2012-2013 of music-making, crowd-pleasing and just plain loving.
FEB 1st THE FRONT GALLERY & CAFÉ, Canberra ACT with Sidney Creswick & Jude Kohn 8pm – $10 Entry
FEB 2nd TANSWELL’S COMMERCIAL HOTEL, Beechworth VIC with Megan Bernard 8:30pm
FEB 5th ST KILDA FESTIVAL- LIVE ‘N LOCAL, The Vineyard, St Kilda 10pm
FEB 7th RED LIME SHACK CAFÉ, Port Adelaide SA with The Dudleys 6pm, $6
FEB 8th THE SINGING GALLERY, McLaren Vale SA with The Teahouse Fire 7:30pm – $20 / $15 Concession. For table bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0413 358 618.
FEB 9th THE WHEATSHEAF HOTEL, Adelaide SA with The Teahouse Fire 9pm
FEB 10th THE OLD MOUNT GAMBIER GAOL, Mount Gambier, SA with Megan Bernard (VIC) 3pm – $10 Entry
FEB 14th THE RETREAT, Brunswick VIC supporting The Stillsons 8:30pm
FEB 15th THE LOFT, Warrnambool VIC with Melva vs Salvador 9:30pm – $5 Entry
FEB 16th MAC’S HOTEL BENTINCK, Portland VIC with Megan Bernard 9:30pm
FEB 20th IRISH MURPHY’S ‘TOP SHELF NIGHT’, Launceston TAS with Susannah Coleman-Brown 9pm
FEB 21st BROOKFIELD MARGATE, Margate TAS with Megan Bernard 8pm – $15 Entry/ $10 Concession
FEB 22nd CROSSROADS WINE BAR, St Helens TAS with Megan Bernard 8pm
FEB 24th REPUBLIC BAR, Hobart TAS with Susannah Coleman-Brown 9pm
MAR 1st MARTAIN’S CAFÉ, Deans Marsh VIC with Megan Bernard 7:30pm – $10 Entry
MAR 2nd BABUSHKA LOUNGE, Ballarat VIC (duo show) with Megan Bernard 9pm – $10 Entry
MAR 13th THE WORKERS CLUB, Fitzroy VIC supporting Farrow (single launch) with Oh Pep! 7.30pm, $5 entry
MAR 27th THE TOFF IN TOWN, Melbourne VIC, supporting Beautiful Change (single launch) with The Little Sisters, 8pm, $8 entry
MAR 22nd-23rd YACKANDANDAH FOLK FESTIVAL, Yackandandah VIC
MAR 24th WARRANDYTE FESTIVAL, Warrandyte VIC
APRIL 7th THE BENDIGO HOTEL, Collingwood VIC, with Beautiful Change and Miguel Rios 3pm
APRIL 13th CANDELO VILLAGE FESTIVAL, Candelo NSW
APRIL 19th-21st MOUNT BEAUTY MUSIC FESTIVAL, Mount Beauty VIC