For the first time here at WaveByte, we are lucky enough to present to you an exclusive video premiere. So, buckle up. Edinburgh based two-piece, milkd, may have debuted single Come Out towards the close of 2017, however, the release of the music video has given the song a new injection of life. Curated by Chris Burns of Gradatim Photography after he approached the band whilst unloading their equipment for a gig, he asked if they were interested in shooting a video and from here, Come Out in its shiny new format was born.
Having only listened to the band a few times in a crowded pub through my friend’s phone speaker before now, it was nice to have a visual accompaniment to aid my first true experience with the band. However, before watching the video, I gave the song a fair few spins on Spotify to try and picture how it would look in its visual form. I came to the conclusion that this song can be likened to a journey of atmospheric exploration, the perfect accompaniment to walking your dog through one of the perfectly symmetrical wheat fields seen in paintings. With lyrics such as “she’s a dreamer, miles away and her head’s in space”, you wouldn’t need a creative writing degree to figure out that the song would have a somewhat atmospheric sound, however, the execution of the video does a fantastic job in bringing the feel of this one to life.
The song opens with Will Langston on vocals with an acoustic guitar and Andy Stern sporting its electric counterpart in a picturesque field. The song plods in all its parts easily until it meets the smooth vocals of Langston. His voice is a staple part of the band’s sound and does a great job in adding to their easy-listening feel. With scenes by a duck pond, sways in the wind and intricately chosen shots on woodland staircases, the video attempts to take you miles away with the subject of the track.
The hook of the song declares that “when you are ready to come out, he won’t hear us, won’t be near us, even if we shout”. Each time it is visited in the video we find the boys in a different location, each as scenic as the last. Langston visits the last word of this refrain in a dancing manner, extending it and playing with its sound on every occasion. The hook of the song is one which asks you to hum along with it, even after you have finished listening to the song. It will be stuck in your head for a fair while. The supporting harmonies come with illuminated facial expressions, normally shot in the very corner of the screen which made me smile. It is moments like this which have been done incredibly well by Burns, capturing the personalities of the boys. Furthering this, the muted conversation set over the tinkering with hand percussion and a shot of two focused guitar-wielders standing back-to-back with one another really completes the video.
The climax of the song comes after we see Stern visibly vibing his guitar solo, in a setting which almost makes him appear to be standing on water. The many layers that make up a large portion of the sound of the song are relinquished at this point, leaving the boys in a somewhat romantic setting as the song comes to a close with nothing but the harmonised vocals on the stage. The song finales in a similar way to which it starts; peacefully.
However, the highlight of the video must be the moments where it is clear that the band are not taking themselves too seriously. Low-angle, crotch height shots which bleed moments of slight smirks are what make the video for me. I feel as though, especially for a first video, it presents a very strong message that at their core the band are about having a laugh whilst crafting their music. If you enjoy listening to music that will put a gentle smile on your face, then milkd may well be your new favourite band. Give this one a watch.
We had the chance to sit down and chat with milkd about their band, their sound and their thoughts on their first official music video.
So, for people who don’t know anything about milkd, how would you introduce the band?
We’re a two-piece indie-pop band, based in Edinburgh. We take influence from bands such as Mac Demarco, Paul McCartney and The Magic Gang.
What three words would you use to describe your sound?
Will: Emotional Roller Coaster
Andy: Really really great
When and how did you guys start out?
We started playing together two years ago, but that was in a full band setup with Andy on bass. A friend then asked us to play as a duo and we loved it, so we kept playing small shows together and started writing more for a smaller setup.
Being a two-piece band, how do you think this aids and hinders the dynamic of the band?
I guess the biggest hindrance is trying to replicate the depth of the recordings when playing live shows, especially with our newer songs. Having said that, it’s a nice challenge to have – we really love trying new things and experimenting with new ways of translating the recordings to live shows. We’ve recently started playing with a drum track for some of our songs (including Come Out), which gives the shows a new element. Being in a two-piece is great for admin too – we can make decisions quickly and writing and recording take far less time than it would if we were a larger group.
A lot of bands have ‘holy shit’ venues. Places they would go and see a lot of artists perform and dream about playing themselves. Are there any venues that you have always dreamt of playing or have aspirations to do so?
Will: I really like the look of Koko London and The Cavern Club in Liverpool would, of course, be great fun. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to play alongside Andy on the stage at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC either, I suppose.
Andy: I’d love to play at SXSW in Austin, Texas. My girlfriend is currently studying there, and I went to visit her and absolutely loved the city, so to play there would be pretty sweet. In terms of somewhere closer to home, King Tut’s in Glasgow would be great to play someday, as would the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.
Who would you say were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Will: From a young age, I was surrounded by the music of classic songwriters like John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and still find myself gravitating towards a lot of the music from around the 60s, especially when I’m looking to find some inspiration when I’m writing.
Andy: I’d have to go with David Bowie, although I guess everyone says that these days. I played a lot of classical music growing up, and so I had a lot of different influences, even from various family members.
Obviously, you dropped Come Out as a single a few months back. What was the reason behind making the music video for it? How did it come about?
It’s quite a funny story actually. We were playing a show in Edinburgh back in January, and as we were loading our gear into the venue someone came up to us and asked if we were a band. We got chatting and it so happened that he was into making videos and was hoping that we’d be up for getting a video shot for one of our tunes. We literally had two or three days from that gig to film the entire thing because Chris lives in Lithuania at the minute and was leaving Edinburgh. The days we did all the shooting on happened to be the windiest days of the year as you can see in the video.
How do you think the video represents the message of the song?
I think the video represents milkd as a band more than it represents the song itself if that makes any sense. We like to have a lot of fun with it, and hopefully don’t take ourselves too seriously – I think that comes across in the video. Chris has a really good eye for getting the right shots, and I think he did an amazing job to get across the light-hearted elements of the band, whilst also creating a beautiful and professional video. It’s our first (proper) music video, and so it was really important for us to represent ourselves accurately in this video.
Is there more new music in the pipeline? If so, how is it coming along and when can we expect it?
We’re in the process of recording our second EP at the moment. The first single is set to come out in the next few weeks, and the EP will come out in September-ish. It’ll be a bit different to the last one; with our debut, we had 4 songs that we really wanted to record, and we recorded it all in Andy’s flat and did the production ourselves (with help from Michael Davin). For the second EP, we’re working in the studio where we recorded ‘Come Out’, with Gregor Stobie. The songs form a more coherent package, and we’re so excited to share it when it’s all done.
Finally, once it is all said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
Will: I’d like us to be remembered as that band who actually wrote some surprisingly nice tunes for two clowns with pianos, guitars, microphones, samples pads, and too much hand percussion.
Andy: I’d like to be remembered as a charismatic, funny, sexy, intelligent and kind person. It’s a shame that people will probably just remember me as the guy who can play Party In The USA on guitar.
Thanks for your time.