Alison May

Photo by Jessie McCall

Photo by Jessie McCall

is a folk singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who has been performing, currently writes and records out of Portland, Oregon. This is her latest stop in her wandering lifestyle, which previously stationed her in Oakland, California and Austin, Texas.

Her changes of scenery seem to continue to expose her experimental nature, which is carefully captured in her sophomore release, Loved/Dark (July 22nd, 2014 – Misery Loves Co.).

Alison's home town of Waxahachie was about an hour’s drive from anywhere. This meant she spent a lot of time in the car with her father, listening to artists like Jackson Browne, Nick Drake and Tracy Chapman. She was only a drummer at the time, but songs like "Telling Stories", "Pink Moon" and "The Pretender" made her want to wander out of the rhythm section. This desire bred Alison into not only a singer/songwriter, but a recording artist who would go on to play almost every instrument for her albums, creating an exact replica of her imagined arrangements.

Alison started tracking Loved/Dark without any prepared arrangements and instead opted to let each track speak through experimentation. Ultimately, hit on the right instrumentations, making Loved/Dark the result of patient layering and wild guesses as to what would fulfill the potential of each song. The album includes guests George Weber (vibraphone), whose mysterious bowing techniques are notable in both "Raft" and "My Own Good."  Alison's debut album, Earnest Keep, worked without any bass parts but, Loved/Dark called for a touch of girth from the presence and playing of Michael Jude. The patience of producer/engineer Jeff Price (ex-Mornin' Old Sport) was perhaps the greatest contribution to the record, rolling with the punches and staying in the moment with additions, subtractions and reversed decisions throughout the process.

Alison has promoted her releases with a few national tours, one of which was via Amtrak. Currently, she is writing and recording her projects from her home and can be found co-writing dance music with Andrew Bayer.