One of the Midwest’s most prolific and passionate songwriters, Michigan-based May Erlewine continues to share her gift for writing songs of substance that feel both new and soulfully familiar. Her lyrics offer a window into the heartbreak, empowerment, and emboldened spirit which are a crucial part of her make up.
May Erlewine has an exceptional talent for reflecting on her experiences and crafting them into songs to which all can relate. Her words have held solace for weary hearts, offered a light in the darkness to many, and held space for the pain and joy of being alive. May’s forthcoming album (May 13 release) Tiny Beautiful Things is no exception.
Named after the book by Cheryl Strayed, which contains a selection of intimate letters between total strangers, the album is a collection of songs focused on the power of connection and the emotional exchanges surrounding love. The production serves each song with a tenderness you can both hear and feel deeply. To the intent listener, it sounds like an honest, loving conversation with one common truth: when we share our lives with others, they become richer, stronger, and more full of purpose. This feels especially valuable given the album was made during one of the most isolating and disconnecting times for many—a global pandemic.
In May’s own words, “This album is an invitation to connect with the many ways love appears in our lives. If we look around us, it’s always there. I feel thankful to get to share these love stories through music and I hope they find a useful place in your heart.”
Co-produced with Joe Hettinga, these songs feature some incredible musical talent including a strong presence from Theo Katzman (vulfpeck) on background vocals and electric guitar, mixed by Caleb Parker (Scary Pockets), and mastered by Devin Kerr (Goodhertz).
May considers her career in the music industry as a service-oriented one and uses her platform for positive change. She stresses the importance of environmental advocacy, social justice, creative empowerment, and community building as necessary work in our world. May’s body of work has become an anthem and an example of why we need to listen to women, empower women, and why we need to hear their stories. A few of the organizations in which she’s been involved include 350.org, Safe House Ann Arbor, On the Ground Global, Cross Hatch Center for Arts and Ecolog and Bioneers Conference.
With a long list of full-length albums and numerous collaborations, May Erlewine’s catalog is proof of her creative power. Her work has been spotlighted by Rolling Stone and NBC’s “The Voice” and covered by countless artists.
Her lyrical content, which is really stories crafted through May’s unique experiences, are rooted in wisdom, joy, sorrow, simplicity, and love. Musically, she carries the songwriter’s torch through many genres and sonic landscapes. The delicate arrangements seem to land somewhere between the go-to labels, making it difficult to describe and easier to enjoy.
Among May’s successes, perhaps her greatest accomplishment is that her music has touched people all over the world. When she starts to sing with that beautifully clear and warm voice, there’s no way around it: welcome in, everyone. The door is wide open. In Cheryl Strayed’s words, “Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.” May Erlewine’s compassionately nurturing vocals can and do surround all who hear them.