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May flicks the switch
May flicks the switch

How do you follow up a hard-rocking album that earned universal praise around the country? If you happen to Abbe May, you flick the switch from rock to pop just as she has done on new single Karmageddon.

The locally brewed musician credits her headfirst dive into "doom pop" to a change in her listening habits.

"I'm a very different person to who I was when we did Design Desire," she explains. "Just like you would be if you had been listening to different music, reading different books, hanging out with new people, perhaps loving different people, perhaps getting hurt by different people. I just think it would be inauthentic if I just stuck with the sound that people are used to; I think it's good for people to freak out."

Citing Kanye West and Portishead as inspirations for her new sound, Karmageddon is the first taste of Kiss My Apocalypse, her new album scheduled for release about April next year.

"Karmageddon is a song about the aftermath of the s… hitting the fan," May says. "The whole album is a concept album about the death of love and how you could liken that to the end of the world. Every song has this real apocalyptic approach to different aspects of heartbreak."

Despite the change from traditional rock band, this hasn't spelt trouble for her band - May's kept her Design Desire players intact for her latest tour.

"We've developed a system to playing a lot of the songs live on stage, which is completely 10,000 moons away from how you would execute a rock'n'roll set, which is with reckless abandon and 3000 power chords," May says. "It's a really different set-up, so we had to get quite techy about it. So fortunately for us as a group, all of the musicians in my band have different skills that they bring to the table."

In addition to a few new tracks, May will also dig up some singles from her last album, but not as you've heard them in a live setting before.

"We're trying to figure out how to play a remixed version of Kevin Parker's version of Mammalian Locomotion; his remix is one of my favourite songs," she hints. "We're going to play that live, and a remix of Design Desire, just to keep a bit of a link to the old style as well."

Abbe May plays the Prince of Wales, Bunbury tomorrow and the Bakery on December 21. Tickets from the usual outlets.