Best New Band (2011)

May McDonough & Co.

We'd call May McDonough's music serendipitous dirty folk. While she's well-versed in the intricacies of deciphering melodies and harmonies in grimy tones (due to the requisite Tom Waits immersion), most of the songs on her whimsical, gypsical debut, Spilt Milk, have been produced out of necessity. After her then-band ditched her hours before a KUCI gig last year, friends came to her rescue by filling in on drums, trumpet, bike spokes for percussion and bike chains for added sonic texture. McDonough—who says, "We only ever use things we specifically need for [our] sound"—is no stranger to lead pipes and stones, but her bluesy voice and guitar playing are things to behold. We can only imagine what kind of orchestral mayhem she'd come up with in a junkyard.

 

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