It’s all in the family with Little Quirks, and that kind of relationship only serves the girls well. Wholesome, humble beginnings on the Central Coast NSW, two sisters, Abbey and Mia Toole, along with their cousin Jaymi Toole, came together in 2015 because they just wanted to sing.
If you have any romantic notions of little kids playing band together, that’s exactly how it began for Little Quirks. “Obviously because we grew up together, we were always playing around with music – our whole family is very, very musical!” says vocalist Abbey Toole. “We used to sit there and muck around with things – one day we decided to really do it together, about five years ago now.”
Little Quirks have an undeniably rich and wholesome sound, yet it’s clear they have influences outside the folk-blues and country nuances we hear. As they grew up, Abbey says she listened to a lot of the music her parents liked. “The Cranberries, The Beatles, Queen,” she lists a few bands fondly. “But as we got older it started being more of Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers – we love that music!”
Little Quirks throw in non-traditional instruments, too, the mandolin being one of them. “Yeah, that’s a weird one,” Abbey giggles. “I think we were looking for something different and it works really well with what we’re looking to be.”
To have a unique presence in their music was a natural progression for Little Quirks, Abbey saying, “We’ve always love harmonies. We used to put on little shows for our family and perform little songs – we loved harmonies. I think that’s what started giving us a sound in general because we loved
Abbey agrees though, that the band’s success and entry into the professional world of music has been incredibly rapid, indeed, the girls recently supported The Preatures on tour, something that Abbey says was a highlight for them so far. “We haven’t really been doing it like this for very long, probably a year and a half now.
“We played our first festival and from there it’s just gone up – more festivals, more interest. It’s been awesome, it’s been pretty crazy to see this happen!
“Two years we busked every week, now we get to do awesome things – it’s really incredible.”
Performing at the National Folk Festival is going to be an opportunity, Abbey says, to not only showcase what Little Quirks are doing, but to learn more about what goes on in the scene in Australia – a lesson as much as an experience. “There’s so many amazing folk acts, they just come out in these festivals because they have the opportunity – folk music doesn’t often get onto mainstream festivals.
“It’s great for us as we go into the folk genre, to see people who have been doing it for ages, who are professional. It will very much an experience to see such incredible acts and hear their stories, it’ll be awesome!”
See Little Quirks at National Folk Festival over the Easter long weekend, 18-22 April 2019 in Exhibition Park, Canberra. Tickets are on sale now at folkfestival.org.
Written by Anna Rose