PERTH singer songwriter Abbe May’s new album Fruit has been five years in the making and so much has happened in her life during that time.
“In 2015 I had a seizure that was then followed by a few years of tremendous mental instability,” May said.
“I went from a very sturdy and high functioning woman in stressful situations to not being able to leave my house for a long time. I was waking up with my hands in fists and was really strung-out, depressed and anxious.
“I got through that with the help of a great doctor, my family were incredible and I had a really good girlfriend at the time who helped me get through a lot of it.”
Everything was starting to look more positive and May released the first single off Fruit, Are We Flirting? in 2016 and then her 10-month-old nephew got sick.
“He was so sick we thought he might not make it through but luckily he’s really healthy now and the absolute love of my life,” she said.
“At the same time my best friend got cancer, beat it in that year and then the cancer came back with a vengeance; so there’s been a lot of ups and downs and intensity.
“What I’ve learnt, from particularly my best friend and nephew, is that we’re incredibly fortunate to be alive and being able to say to someone that you love them is incredibly important. It feels like I’ve come through a very difficult era and managed to be creative instead of destructive in this time.
“I feel pleased with how I’ve handled the trials and tribulations of the past five years and I’m really excited about what’s coming now.”
May released Fruit on February 2 and will officially launch the electro-soul album at Perth Festival’s Chevron Gardens Valentine’s Day event Abbe May and Clam Jam on Wednesday, February 14.
The evening will celebrate Australian women in music with a line-up that includes Thelma Plum and the reformation of Perth indie punkers Sex Panther.
May said she felt ready to jump back in to the intensity of releasing something so personal, so publicly.
“I think it’s important to express yourself and to be genuine because the role of the artist is to reflect,” May said.
“It’s an openly gay record; I’ve never hidden my sexuality but I’m very explicit about it now.
“A lot of what’s happened over the past few years has made me feel disconnected to the person that I had been prior to all of this.
“I like that through this record I can see glimpses of former selves and situations, and feel comfortable and proud of who I’ve become while still honouring where I’ve come from. I think it’s my best work yet.”
What: Abbe May and Clam Jam
Where: Chevron Gardens, Elizabeth Quay
When: February 14