It’s been over four years since Abbe May’s critically acclaimed album ‘Kiss My Apocalypse’ was released, which earned her an ARIA nomination. But she’s set to make one hell of a comeback.
During Abbe’s tour for ‘Kiss My Apocalypse’, she suffered a seizure that not only affected her writing but also her mental health. “It made me realise my own mortality and fragility,” Abbe says.
“I was having an existential crisis. I had this newfound consciousness of consciousness and I couldn’t work out what it meant – I had a lot of terror about that.
“We’ve created this space where people respect each other and celebrate women in music.”
“Before I figured it out I had a reasonable bout of alcoholism because I was just so terrified and it was a vicious cycle.
"But I managed to pull myself out of it. I felt a real purpose with my niece and nephew and thought ‘I’m not much good to them if I’m dead’. It took a long time and a lot happened but I figured it out. I became a completely different person.”
Abbe’s fifth studio album ‘Fruit’ is due on 2 February. ‘Love Decline’ is the first taste of Abbe’s new album, a catchy, soulful-pop song with a backstory.
“I was having a drink with a very wealthy man and he was telling me about how no matter how much money he has, he’s never been able to fall in love since his late 20s.
“He had this theory that people don’t fall in love after 30 or 40. He was very cynical but I think he was just lonely.
“I was falling left, right and centre in my 20s, but now I’ve found there’s an element of truth to what he was saying. Love is something that gives life a great purpose but the actual romantic, passionate love becomes harder to throw yourself into.
“['Love Decline' is] about a woman living amongst all this wealth but she’s not able to jump in and she falls in love a little less each time. There’s kind of a goodbye to my youthful foolishness [in the song]."
The new record isn’t just an album. “'Fruit’ is an open declaration of my sexuality. There’s this little spoken-word story interweaved in it, telling key points from my life of accepting who I am. It’s a soul-pop record but it’s definitely really gay.
“I’m not changing any pronouns to make it more universal. I’m singing about women and my experience as a woman who loves women.”
The album will be launched at the upcoming Clam Jam, part of Perth Festival early next year, an event that Abbe created.
Its title is a feminine spin on the term ‘sausage-fest’. “I really wanted to put on a line-up that was either all-female or female-involving. There’s some incredible female artists in Perth that I thought weren’t getting enough opportunity to play.
“Perth Festival decided that they like it and they’re going to take it on and have a Clam Jam for Valentine’s Day. It’s f#$%ing awesome; we’ve just created this space where people respect each other and celebrate women in music.”
Clam Jam takes place at Chevron Gardens 14 February as part of Perth Festival. ‘Fruit’ is released 2 February.
Abbe May Tour DatesFri 16 Feb - Edinburgh Castle (Adelaide)
Sat 17 Feb - Clancy's Fish Pub (Dunsborough)
Fri 23 Feb - Yah Yah's (Melbourne)
Sat 24 Feb - Hobart Brewing Co (Hobart)
Thu 8 Mar - The Lansdowne (Sydney)