Little Wise’s blend of folk-roots music is a delicate interplay between sweetness and grit. Led by Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Sophie Klein, the outfit combines inviting storytelling with sophisticated guitar-work and spot-on female vocal harmonies. Klein’s vocal delivery is wistful but self assured. Whilst mostly a rhythm guitarist, she is a confident multi-instrumentalist, incorporating banjo, mandolin and slide guitar into her arrangements to evoke flavours of Lucinda Williams, Mia Dyson, The Waifs and James Taylor.
Joining Klein is Megan Bernard on electric guitar and backing vocals. A charismatic hybrid-pop singer-songwriter in her own right, Bernard is equally at home in the alt-country and folk-roots domain, gracefully decorating Klein’s songs with lush tones that emanate from her turquoise Stratocaster and wine-red SG guitars. The pair share a palpable musical chemistry and cohesion onstage, emerging from years of musical friendship that feel more like decades.
The latest Little Wise release is a six track EP entitled Sweet Rain Falling, a follow-up to Moments of Clarity (2012). Klein and Bernard's burgeoning partnership brings an evolution and maturity to the sound of this new release. The lead-track My Pocket is the result of a new collaboration with producer Kalju Tonuma and features a guest rhythm section of BJ Barker (The Yearlings) on drums and Daniel Hobson (The Stillsons) on electric bass. Written on her beloved 1962 Gibson J50 acoustic guitar, My Pocket shows Klein at her rawest and most vulnerable, sifting through the saddest and most beautifully profound experiences of grief. This tune features a larger and warmer live-band sound, with lap steel lines soaring over and around the vocals. Whilst in the studio, a spontaneous eastern-fusion jam between Bernard, Klein and Tonuma was captured, which later became the EP’s outro track In Dreams.
The other lovingly selected tracks on Sweet Rain Falling were self-recorded and produced by the duo at various makeshift home studios across Victoria including a beach house in Jan Juc on the Surf Coast and bedrooms in Preston and Caulfield. These songs hold a more stripped-back sound, representative of the act’s live duo performance. The EP is more melancholic than previous material, but leaves the listener with feelings of hope and beauty.
“If you’re a little wise yourself, you’ll catch them” (Rip It Up Magazine, SA).