Abbe May effortlessly owns the ‘rock chick’ tag

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Call it superficial, but the tag “rock chick” does nothing for me, except to prompt a swift recoiling movement back into my soundproof shell. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for female musicians, especially those brave enough to enter bigger and bolder genres. Perhaps I am haunted by a brief tweenage obsession with Sarah McLeod (of Superjesus fame) but I find the whole ‘rock-chick’ persona a little cringe-worthy.


Abbe May, however, makes my cheeks flush for an entirely different reason. This chick – this rock chick, dare I say it – is brazenly talented, confident and unquestionably sexy. Her voice is deep and darkly emotional: something of a rarity among the current class of pretty, floaty-falsetto Joanna Newsom aspirants. ‘Design Desire’ is a daring exploration of dirty blues and dynamic vocal power. From the psyche-rock title track to the ghostly harmonics of ‘No Sleep Tonight’ and the relentless blues riff of ‘Cast That Devil Out’, Miss May busts through in a league of her own. It’s an album that drags you down to the dirtiest dive bar in town, then makes you fall madly in love with the dark-eyed soulstress in the corner singing of sin and cigarettes. Someone buy this lady a beer.  


‘Design Desire’ is out through Sandcastle Music.