"Songs by January May are immediately identifiable by their shape-shifting soundscapes, heart-pounding percussion and dreamy vocal harmonies." - Belk's Southern Musician Showcase
Sometimes it's the size of the crowd surprising them as they walk on or just a moment that hits them as they travel to their next destination; indie pop band January May watches as their daydreams turn into their day job. That feeling creates the motivation for experimentation, expansion, and originality. "We were feeling good just if the crowd numbered more than the amount of people on stage," Says Kg Lillian, vocalist. "Now that feeling just grows as more and more people show up and more and more posts and feedback allow us to realize people are really listening."
The trio had plenty of shows where they questioned the amount of attendees that would show to a performance, especially when they first began as a duo in the town of Union, Missouri. Matthew Campbell and Kg Lillian started January May with high hopes and higher expectations; dreaming outside of the limitations a small town challenged them with. As they prepared to release a demo album, Campbell and Lillian played open mic nights at the only venue locally available to them. With the support of their families, Matthew and Kg kept pursuing opportunities to play out and write, releasing the "Back to Back EP" in the summer of 2012.
It was this EP that they set off to the races with. The band discovered an online music sharing competition called ArtistSignal and quickly uploaded the EP for users to hear. As the duo began to play out to schools to gain support in the contest, Adam Zimmer, a bassist that had played beside Campbell in two separate groups, joined January May to fill their sound. After two months with little to no sleep and eyes glued to the voting button, January May won the first place prize of $10,000 on ArtistSignal with the help of their growing fan base.
With this win under their belts, the duo turned trio focused to reach their next goal: a full length debut album. Zimmer contributed rhythm with his bass and drum additions recognizable under the new, amped up sound of the once acoustic group. With content hearts and determined minds, the group traveled across the mid-west to record in three studios. It was in each one that they found something different that January May needed to produce a record to be proud of.
Finally, on July 31st of 2014, they released their first single titled "Young" off of their debut album Troublemade. I Heart Moosiq blog described the tune as " a massively charming and endearing alt pop ballad, full of a melting, bittersweet tenderness and always welcome boy girl vocals." With this description, I Heart Moosiq explained that Young evoked a blend made familiar to us by the sounds of Snow Patrol meets Taylor Swift meets Kodaline. Flattered by this comparison, January May was only more eager to share and spread their music. Shortly after their single release, they played one last Missouri show and said their farewells. A move to Austin, Texas lead the band to a hopeful new territory rumored to be the live music capitol of the nation. The only way to confirm this was to throw themselves into the scene and witness the life of the city for themselves.
Their first show transpired at live lounge Strange Brew, with a stage-owning performance following at Austin's Trail of Lights. Since then the band has had the pleasure of opening for friends Remedy Drive and being recognized as JanSport's SXSW BOTB runner up. As 2015 began, January May was given the opportunity to audition for Orlando's Full Sail University partnership and after anticipating the results, found out they had been selected. It is with much elation that January May accepted this partnership and looks forward to the projects that await them.
2015 was a great year for the trio. After being selected as one of 40 in 4000 applicants for Belk's Southern Musician Showcase, the band traveled to North Carolina to compete in the finale, with the results revealing January May was among the 7 winners. It is with this win that the band receives the opportunity to play festivals and events throughout the nation. Overwhelmed by the support of their fans and the connecting power of music, January May anticipates more reveries to turn into reality.