Little Green: 'Stories Are What Connect Human Beings'

12 September 2023 | 2:39 pm | Ella Sterland

"Being in the Blue Mountains, we were so far away from everything and we had a lot of time to play and be bored. Play is what creativity is.”

Little Green

Little Green (Supplied)

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Hailing from the magical eucalyptus-laden landscape of the NSW Blue Mountains, Little Green endeavoured to stay present on the multi-hour commute down the M4, to Mascot Airport, and on to Brisbane in time for her sets at the Queensland Festival BIGSOUND 2023.

“I think it’s about being present, it makes time go really quickly, you’re just in the moment”. Being present is a very ‘on brand’ vibe for Little Green, the indie-jazz artist is a master at cultivating an intricately connected feeling with her music, which was evident in the relationship she had with her fanbase over lockdown particularly.

“That was probably the most present I’ve felt in life which is so weird, I felt really connected as well, and I was using social media in such a healthy way” she agreed.

“Everything was so uncertain at that time, and creating something was the only thing I could control. It snapped me back into the moment. We couldn’t really think about the future because we didn’t know if it existed!”.

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Little Green utilised the isolation as a period to hone her craft with the added intimidation of online critics. The process of sharing your development with an audience provides an unconventional layer of added feedback to new releases, which Little Green assured me was actually a good thing in her case.

“I think it was kind of special to involve people in the process, and it was really good instant feedback, especially on TikTok,” she said, “I never was down about it, it was insightful. It really helped with getting better. I feel like it’s silly to be scared of sharing the process. Everyone is always a work in progress”. There was something special about tuning in to what Little Green was feeling each day during lockdown, and the writing reflected this quality of ‘in-the-moment’ rawness.

“Every song was exactly how I felt that day. It wasn’t like sharing a song I had written two years ago and then finally produced. I feel like a lot of artists get that- you write a song and by the time it comes out it doesn’t really resonate anymore. It was scary but cool to share exactly where you’re at, you end up feeling not so alone”.

With a project name that serves as a nod to the greatest songwriter of all time, I had to know how Little Green’s love for Joni Mitchell came about, and how the legend’s music had shaped her.

“I grew up listening to a lot of her music. My mum really loves the craft of songwriting. There were a couple of albums, Blue, Night Ride Home, and Ladies of the Canyon that are just stuck in my brain. Joni Mitchell to me is just nostalgic. I had my own experience of falling in love with her music and her way of storytelling. I think that’s a big thing I get from Joni, and something my mum always tells me is ‘Never lose the storytelling element of songwriting’”

Storytelling is the clear driving force for Little Green, and tracks like her newest release Alien are riddled with vibrant imagery that take listeners on a winding journey.

“Stories are all we have that connect us- since the beginning of time! Stories are what connect human beings.”

The love of storytelling is an ancient human interest that I believe ties pretty directly into our connection with nature; something that Little Green feels particularly influenced by at her home in the Blue Mountains.

“Being around nature all the time is very grounding. The people in the mountains are my people! It means I can make music from a grounded place like that. Being in the Blue Mountains, we were so far away from everything, and we had a lot of time to play and be bored. Play is what creativity is”

Heading into her sets at BIGSOUND, ticky decisions had to be made regarding exactly what kind of instrumental energy should be prioritised; a hard choice for someone who wants to explore all the options.

“I used to have a tendency to just play a flute or sax solo for no reason just for the sake of it, but recently I’ve been thinking that the song comes first and that the instruments should serve the song in a meaningful way. When I was deciding my set for this week, I was like, ‘What does this flute solo represent?’. The personality of different instruments plays a big role in the experience the audience has with your set and with the storytelling in your writing.

“What’s going to be most captivating, and what is going to tell a story and entertain people, and take you on a journey? Playing all the different instruments allows for a bigger arc in the journey of a song. Also, it’s just fun! Whatever I feel like playing I just do it”.

Little Green’s latest release Alien is out now.