‘A seamless blend of life-lesson centred lyricism and freedom-filled guitar licks make for a showcase track.’
Intro to The Milk
First discovering The Milk back in 2017 when I covered Silent Natives’ Mitch Ayling produced EP ‘Loosen Your Grip’ it was clear that they were a band to follow. However, at the time it didn’t really cross my mind to do
a feature on them. As you’ve already realised though, that’s just changed. Formed of Mitch alongside Luke Ayling, Rick Nunn and Dan Le Gresley their tracks
to date have showcased every part of their almost un-categorisable sound, seen them gain acclaim from BBC6 Music and have a night at Union Chapel. However, if ‘Never Come Down’ (taken from their forthcoming album) is anything to go by, these previous releases mean we haven’t even heard half of what they have to offer.
Gently emerging into existence from nothing, bell tone-esque chords appear to draw us into the latest of The Milk’s offering. Stirring up anticipation, it fully engages us and makes us listen from the very first sound. However, the sense of growth soon becomes completely apparent with shuffle-style drums and soaring guitar riffs combining effortlessly. Mixing elements of soul, rock and blues it’s a seamless blend of incredible musicality.
Having solidified the stylistic centre of the accompanying elements, the initial vocals provide a brilliantly cross-rhythmic feel. Repeating numerous times, the life-lesson centred line of “Go and make yourself so proud” functions as both a contrast and a connection to the aforementioned content. To get the full effect it needs to be heard but, alternating between compound and simple time accents, it’s a style of writing that’s refreshing, earwormy and attention grabbing in equal measures.
Pushing into the chorus, the title centred lyrics ensure that the sound continues to grow with each setting bringing a new edge. Solo and harmonised, each repetition of ‘You’ll never come down’ reinforces the intent of those very words: strength and getting stronger. Giving even more on the final setting, the sound soars into an instrumental link with hints of what we can expect from the full-on, freedom-filled and finger picked guitar licks that are to follow.
While in the main the second verse remains much the same as the first – other than the lyrics of course – it is here that a moment of reckoning occurs. Reminding yourself that this is a 4-piece band, you realise you are hearing a sound that’s so much bigger than the sum of it’s parts. The power and the musicality that they bring is hard to compare. Likewise, the added depth brought to the post chorus on this second rendition – via additional strums – keeps the musical intensity appropriately high. However, seeming as though the track will continue to push until it erupts completely, a change occurs.
Noticeably much sparser – to the point were it’s essentially acoustic – the third verse takes on a very different form to the first two. Featuring dominant picked bass movement in the background with sustained chords faintly whirling around, it’s a world away from the track’s more forceful side. But, in making those earlier influences more exposed, it makes for a truly beautiful sound and allows the lyrical messages to be at the forefront.
With the change welcomed and much enjoyed, on reaching the latter part of the extended verse, the electric guitar lines begin to re-emerge. Moving us back toward the previous sound, it blends in a way that ensures we realise what’s happening without it feeling at all disjointed. It’s a delicate balance, but here it makes for a wonderful connection between old and new. This time though, the old is also the new and with the rhythmic content of earlier completely exploding, The Milk serve up a finale that’s so euphoric, we may never come down from it.