The Little Stevies

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The Little Stevies


Incidentally, The Little Stevies’ adventures abroad inspired their most recent run of shows: a series of house concerts, held around the country. “In North America, house concerts are really popular and they’re a really big deal. When you go on tour, if you’ve got a night off in between shows or major cities, you see if there’s a house concert you can do.”

“Basically we contacted our mailing lists – only really people who were real big fans of the band in the first place – and we asked who would like to host (the concerts),” Stephen explains. “We had an overwhelming response. It’s basically taken us everywhere and when we’ve gone interstate, we’ve stayed at their homes and it’s been a really lovely experience.”

Stephen has plenty of praise for the concept. “It’s exactly like going to a gig at a venue, but you don’t have people spilling beer on you… you don’t have to stand or squeeze up to people you don’t know. You can sit on a couch, on a beanbag or on the lawn with your own food and drink. It’s just great.”

The Little Stevies have recently managed to channel their momentum into a series of fruitful sessions, casually budding brand new songs. “We’re just sort of demoing slowly. We’re doing it in a really relaxed way, actually. The last album we made we went over the LA, spent months doing that and that was pretty intensive. It was awesome, but a totally different experience to what we’re going to do this time,” Stephen explains. “We’re just going to make it really relaxed and sort of just do it ourselves – not have anybody else, any producers step in at the early stages. We’re going to do as much as we can… then we’ll ask for help!”

The band continue to feel out their way forward, with no one direction set in stone as yet according to Stephen. “Sometimes you don’t have a lot of control over what comes out. At this stage, we’re just sort of writing the songs and demoing, so they could really turn out to be anything from what they sound like now.”

Many have previously cited The Little Stevies’ expertise as pop music – a tag that sits comfortably with Stephen, despite an apparent angst surrounding the term. “I think a lot of people are maybe a bit scared to identify themselves as a pop band. The first thing you think of when you think pop is really sort of commercial, Lady Gaga sort of pop…which is not what pop is about, necessarily.”

Their album Attention Shoppers concerns a wholehearted embrace of the band’s pop inclinations. “That was one of the things that we decided we wanted to do: make it really slick sounding and just make some really good pop songs… short, three minute pop songs.”
The conversation turns to songwriting and Stephen confesses a strong autobiographical backbone exists within her own work. “For me, it’s all about myself! I find it really hard to write about other people’s experiences… which is a bit of a pain sometimes, because usually I have to be in quite an intense emotional state one way or the other to write something!”

According to Stephen, vulnerability manifests in many forms for the humble songsmith. “I think in writing songs with anyone, you’ve just got to know them back to front. I’ve tried writing songs with other people before and it just really hasn’t worked as well as it does with Sibylla,” she reveals. “Writing a song is so embarrassing! Anything you come up with is totally exposing and embarrassing, in the first instance. To do it with someone who knows you absolutely 100% well and everything about you, it just makes it really easy.”
That’s not to say Stephen shies away from experimentation entirely. Only last year, she declared a commitment to learning piano. Who could resist the temptation to check in on her progress? “It’s going well! I had a break over summer and I had to re-learn everything that I’d learned last year when I went back to it a couple of weeks ago. Learning an instrument or a language really works that part of your brain that hurts and apparently makes dementia and Alzheimer’s stay away… hopefully!”