Some bands are so productive that they can release two albums in two years. Milk Maid are one of those bands. We asked frontman Martin Cohen to talk us through the follow up to last year’s ‘Yucca’, the new ‘Mostly No’, along with an exclusive stream below. The band will be heading out on the road from Thursday (28th June) so be sure to catch them for a live rendition of the new material in a town near you shortly.
I rarely write all of the lead parts when I demo tracks. When it comes to recording them, I just keep playing until something sticks. This means that I then have to go back and teach myself how to play it for when we have to perform it live, but it’s keeps things spontaneous and exciting. I think this was the last song that was written for the album but the recording process was very much a part of its conception.
2. Do Right
This is the oldest song on the album and was written before our first album, ‘Yucca’, was released. There was an original version that was destined for a split record we got asked to do but that didn’t work out in the end.
3. Stir So Slow
I wanted to write a song like ‘St Marys’ by Sparklehorse and this what came out. This album has more of a band sound and probably gives a more accurate impression of what we’re like live than the first album did. With this one there was the conscious decision to quieten it down rather than have a full volume version with the wall of noise guitar.
4. Bad Luck
I normally have to be really patient when I’m writing and need to wait for choruses to come along and rear their head, but with this song, I had a verse and a chorus that I just stuck together. I get to use my ‘full distortion’ setting on this one when we play it live too.
5. Your Neck Around Mine
This one is kinda about when people stop being individuals and start being a couple and loose their own identity…kinda…
6. New Plans
There’s not much I’d like to say about this one, apart from this is probably my favourite song I’ve written.
I had the verse for this track for ages before the chorus showed up. It comes from an interview I listened to with Everett True about Kurt Cobain, and how he raised the question that the weather possibly played a part in Kurt’s suicide - apparently it had been raining non-stop for a few days before he died. This made me think about Nick Drake’s death, (which may not have been suicide) and what the weather might have been like. Basically it’s about telling someone to wait ‘til the sun is shining and the birds are singing before killing themselves.
8. Drag to Find
As with ‘Do Right’ an original version of this was supposed to go on that split record I mentioned before. There are three more songs that were meant for that release. I never think in terms of singles or EPs but these five tracks worked really well together and it’s a shame it never got released. It would be nice to do a 7-inch with them all on.
9. Pictures of Stone
Had this part hanging around for a while and didn’t really know where to take it but seemed to make more sense when I stopped searching for a chorus. I sent it over to my friend Elliott Williams who played the organ part at the end. I’ve always wanted a fade out song and now I have one. There’s cabassa on this too.
10. Old Trick
I started to loose my mind recording this. To help with tuning issues that had been bugging me on other songs I recorded the bass and some guitar tracks in standard tuning but it wasn’t sounding right so I decided to retune to what we usually play. This meant re-recording the bass and guitars. Since that tuning is lower than the tuning guitars are designed to be played in it turned into a world of pain. At one point I think I spent two days trying to tune for one part. Couldn’t be further from the spontaneous, quick and easy way I want to record in. Like I said, world of pain.
11. No Goodbye
I recorded a demo about a year ago but never really thought much of it but kept feeling the need to go back and keep listening to it which is normally a good sign. Always a fan of ending albums on a downer.
Milk Maid’s new album ‘Mostly No’ will be released on 9th July via FatCat Records. Pre-order the album now.