milkd is the debut EP from the Edinburgh two-piece of the same name, comprising Andy Stern and Will Langston. They make self-described “feel-good indie” tunes which lean heavily on an echoey bedroom aesthetic, giving the EP a certain warmth and intimacy. The four heartfelt, doe-eyed love songs flow subtly into each other, combining smooth keys and jangly guitars for a lulling, dreamy effect.
‘Rosie’ is a murmuring ode to a perpetual optimist, who sees only the good and pure in the world through the glow of her “red round glasses”. Over hazy piano and picked strings the speaker wonders how the lovely Rosie can play it all so cool, leaving bad omens and darkness far behind as she winds her way through drowsy harmonies and gentle coos of her name.
Her sunny outlook has clearly rubbed off on the joyful ‘When I Get to You’, with its twinkling guitars and whirring intro like a tummyful of butterflies. The speaker now focuses on promising to “look after you like no other man would do”, consoling his beloved in his absence while buoyed up on a breezy melody and swifter pace. ‘Real’ puts an end to his yearning, finally reuniting the couple over a similar soft acoustic pattern. Endearing as the sweet sentiments and lightly crooned harmonies are, at this stage they can begin to grate a bit, with honeyed phrases like “When I’m with you it’s true” and “I do want to love you dear” coming across rather trite.
Luckily the final cut of the EP, ‘Brother’s Arms’, offers some unexpected refreshment – there is more plucked guitar but it’s somewhat sharper now, and the bass more somber. The speaker inexplicably admits to feeling “worn and tired” – he has moved from his lover’s arms to his mother’s to his brother’s, and back to his lover’s. Drums kick in for the first time on the EP as these arms are suddenly taken away from him, and he is left stranded. The guitar solo near the end of the song’s lengthy wseven minutes is one of the strongest points on milkd, filtered through a hazy, humid mist before melting off into a watery echo of the notes the EP opened on. A promising, if at times sickly sweet first offering.