all photos: Shervin Lainez
You may remember May Tabol as the girl you developed a desperate crush on the first time you saw Le Loup play.
The kind of crush you develop only on a girl that is so talented and so pretty and so nice that all your teenage crushes can come crashing into one when you see her ( these are actual words I’ve heard them say when describing her, i am just relaying the information-ed).
Well, fast forward year or two later and she is here before you, all alone (with Chris DeWitt) as Pree, and a mini collection of songs that will take your breath away. Comparisons to Modest Mouse, Regina Spektor, Joanna Newsom and the early Cat Power are flying around but what May has is something special, and her own: a little vulnerable, a lot strong, and exciting enough for you to be very proud all this got sired in the middle of DC, and for me to actually 1000% mean it when I type it, which is as high of a praise as I will bestow and I bestow praise all the time.
Pree releases the “A Chopping Block” EP tonight @ The Black Cat Backstage (Kora Records earns kudos again for jumping at this opportunity) and we asked May to sit and tell us a little about them.
Lean back and enjoy the (possibly bumpy) ride:
Heaven is a Drag
This is written from the perspective of a boy attempting to win over a girl raised in a very stern, religious household. He stands on her front porch imploring her to come outside and meet him, though it’s unclear whether she can hear him, or whether she is inside at all. I wanted to convey the frustration of someone motioning and yelling at a static figure whose existence resembles more of an oil painting than anything living and breathing- something beautiful and preserved but ultimately mute and incapable of any real growth or change.
I tried to approach this as a narrator would an old, familiar story. It actually started off with a very grandiose, Les Miz sort of vibe, but I think it ended up being more effective with the narrator coming
across as more detached from the events described, as if given a script of words and feelings that once existed but after generations of retelling could only be read with a vague sense of regret and bafflement as to why the two characters even attempt to do what they do.
This is the last track on the EP, and its perspectives alternate between that of a widow’s dead husband and those of her family, all of whom are watching her from the outside and waiting for her to leave
her house one way or the other. This was probably the most difficult song for John and I to orchestrate- it was the first demo we recorded together, and it actually started out as more of an indie pop dance number. Two sets of lyrics and about a dozen instrumentation choices later, we finally had something we felt fit in quite well with the rest of the album.