Little Wise - Merri Creek Tavern
Little Wise is Melbourne-based songwriter Sophie Klein. Whether she’s slinging her electric guitar or quietly strumming a wistful acoustic refrain, she will break your heart and stitch it back together again- melodically, piece by piece. Her sound fuses classic folk, vintage rock and Americana with a good dose of Melbourne swagger. Over the course of two EPs and an album, Little Wise has clung tightly to the very thing which made her want to make music when she first saw The Waifs at the tender age of fourteen; to use her voice and guitar to help people remember the lifeblood coursing through their veins.
Now, in 2019, Little Wise is preparing to release her sophomore album. This new batch of songs promise immediacy, emotional affect and some unfettered joyous rock ‘n roll. Awarded a grant from Creative Victoria, Little Wise recorded at The Aviary Recording Studios, with producers Fraser Montgomery and Nick Edin. Bandmates Rosie Burgess (bass guitar) and Pam Zaharias (drums) joined her in-studio to create something authentic and full of soul. The first single ‘Want it All’ showcases yet another side of Little Wise. A meditation on growing up, indecision and crises of existence, the slow-burning tension and release is like a lovechild of The Pretenders and The Velvet Underground.
In 2017 Little Wise really hit her stride, with her first visit to the US instilling a new sense of confidence in her craft. With ‘100 Degrees’, her new gritty, guitar-driven single under her belt, Little Wise set off for Nashville TN. There she walked in the footsteps of her idols and graced the stage at the renowned Bluebird Café as part of Americanafest 2017.
Back home, the single, “a rockin’ new tune!” (Henry Wagons), remained in the AMRAP Community radio charts for 5 weeks and held the #1 position for 3 consecutive weeks. The months that followed also saw Little Wise showcase at Australian Music Week 2017, debut at Tamworth 2018 and play a string of support shows for Frazey Ford (Canada), Dan Parsons and The Audreys.
Little Wise’s 2016 debut album ‘Silver Birch’ was recorded partly in Klein’s childhood home before it was handed over to new owners. The album radiates a nostalgic longing for the past. It was featured on PBS and RRR, won ‘Best Debut Release’ in the Rhythms Magazine Writers’ Poll and received national airplay on Triple J, ABC Radio National and Double J. Fans have expressed deep resonance with the work and the letters of love have poured in. In Klein’s words:
“On ‘Silver Birch’ I presented my most raw and soul-baring material to date, telling the story of losing my mum to cancer. It was cathartic to make that album and people really resonated with the songs. But after that, it was time to shake things up a little bit and add some more fun, carefree material to my catalogue.”