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Album Review: MILKK – HEADRUSH



Within the scene, audiences are often faced with the dilemma of finding new, exciting and inspirational music from bands within their desired genre. With the release of their debut album ‘HEADRUSH’, MILKK fulfils all these criteria and more. Consisting of members Pat Kiloran, Jack Vondrachek and John Ogelby, MILKK have already gained a substantial following due to not only their unique style, but their presence and connectivity with fans. We plunged into their new album, and are ready to introduce you to your new favourite band!

MILKK’s debut album begins with track one, ’90’s Baby’. From the initial verses, it is easy to unpack the genuine emotions being expressed. The use of emotionally charged music to portray ideas is refreshing and powerful, and creates a sense of connectivity between audience and artist. This is something that is welcomed within music, and is so often lost with more popular, mainstream artists. Due to the unique intertwinement of beats and vulnerable vocals, this song almost sounds like something unheard, and sets great expectations for the rest of the album. ’90’s Baby’ kicks off ‘HEADRUSH’ with a sense of uniqueness, and makes sure that the audience is captivated and pulled along for the rest of the musical journey.

Following this is track two, ‘Unsaid’. Picking up the pace from track one, ‘Unsaid’ has a more prominent beat. Alongside this, the vocals of Pat Kiloran are given a chance to be showcased and highlights the versatility within all aspects of the band. In my opinion, the best part of the song is toward the end; “Some things should be left-” followed by instrumentals. The irony adds another element to the song, and a light-hearted vibe is introduced. ‘Unsaid’ demonstrates the versatility of MILKK and adds new themes to ‘HEADRUSH’. 

‘Here In My Head’ is track three of ‘HEADRUSH’. The initial beats are reminiscent of the 2000’s, creating nostalgic emotions within the audience. The chorus introduces layered backing vocals which have not been seen in the previous songs. From only three tracks, it is evident to see MILKK is a genuine band. The vocals are always packed with emotion and the instrumentals are always coordinated in a way which is unique, not just following what is popular in music today. MILKK is true to their sound. “I’m trying to fight the feeling that I’d rather be dead, yeah it’s hard to be here in my head”. This lyric resonated with me as a listener, and I feel it is an overall reflection of the themes to be found within the entirety of  ‘HEADRUSH’. Despite negative emotions lurking, with perseverance and music, we can try to get better. ‘Here In My Head’ not only develops the themes of the album, but solidifies the individuality of MILKK.

Up next is ‘Thinkin’ Bout U’. Switching back to the more discreet beats, this track feels slightly different to the rest. Perhaps it is the crisper vocals, or the more technical sounding elements. With this aside, ‘Thinkin’ Bout U’ is sure to make you groove, and get stuck in your head. This track allows ‘HEADRUSH’ to introduce some lighter themes and depicts feelings of love within the song. This track is a welcomed twist to the album of ‘HEADRUSH’.

Track five follows as ‘Honest’. This song is far more stripped back, making it feel like a genuinely honest song being communicated to the audience. The smooth beats combined with almost whispering vocals creates a chilling feeling within the song. Whether this be intentional  or not, it is solidified through the lyric of “I’m haunted by you.” The nature of this song is vulnerable and well, honest! Through ‘Honest’, MILKK further showcases their ability to spark emotion within the listener.

Marking the halfway point of ‘HEADRUSH’ is ‘Up On Us’. This track contains more hopeful, positive undertones, picking up the pace of the last few songs. In addition to this change, relatively high vocals are featured in the chorus. The combination of new elements makes ‘Up On Us’ not only catchy, but creates another twist in the album which recaptures the attention of the audience. ‘Up On Us’ was a much needed song, and is one of the standout tracks from ‘HEADRUSH’.

Following is track seven, ‘The Garden (I’ll Be Alright)’. From all of the tracks featured on ‘HEADRUSH’, I feel this track holds the most important messages for the band’s target audience. The lyrics “but how was I supposed to know until I rolled the dice” and “I’d rather die doing my thing not yours” were clear standouts. Despite how hard dreams may be to reach, how unrealistic they seem or how frowned upon they are, it is essential to remember that it is your life and no one else’s. This message is extremely important, particularly to fans who may be on their way to discovering what life has to offer them. This sense of encouragement from MILKK only skims the surface of the connection the band has with their fans. ‘The Garden (I’ll Be Alright’) holds important messages and displays the level of connection between artist and audience that so many musical acts desire.

Track eight is ‘Mean To You’. Opening with a distinct sound of guitar, ‘Mean To You’ holds attitude within both the vocals and the instrumentals. The drums and guitars on this track are far more prominent compared to the previous songs on the album, and creates an intertwinement of multiple genres within ‘HEADRUSH’ itself. This versatility is once again demonstrated and shows that MILKK will be successful through all adaptations of their sound. ‘Mean To You’ is a powerful track from ‘HEADRUSH’.

With by far the most popularity, ‘Stupid’ is track nine. This song is sincere and follows the path of self destruction to highlight the importance of a second figure within their life. The spilling of emotions enhance the deep beats, and create a pit of feelings in which MILKK has poured into their album. From the lyrical content to the soft beats, this song tells a story, and it is clear to see how it gained its popularity. ‘Stupid’ is a standout from ‘HEADRUSH’.

Following is the title track from the album, ‘HEADRUSH’. The track opens with a thought-provoking soliloquy, opening our minds to the rest of the song. 
“Welcome to my headrush”.
As fitting as this song would have been at the beginning of the album, the placement of it towards the end is an intriguing move. The extended period of instrumentals can act as a reflective song; a time to think about the album, its messages and its morals. The combination of lyrics and sounds gives an insight into the perhaps chaotic mindset of MILKK and the feelings that inspired ‘HEADRUSH’.  ‘HEADRUSH’ leaves much to be interpreted by the audience and acts as a reflective intermission for the album.

Track eleven is ‘Though I Lost You’. This track is one of the more stripped back songs, featuring acoustic guitars and vocals almost identical to those of well known indie artists. This rawness allows for the themes of the album to be re-established and highlights the trust they give fans in order to deal with the levels of vulnerability. This track feels straight from the heart, and mouth, with no fancy producing techniques to ruin the meaning and mood. From ‘Thought I Lost You’ and other tracks, it is clear that MILKK uses real experiences and feelings within their art, and through this, creates than a two dimensional band and challenges the stigmatized untouchableness of larger bands. ‘I Thought I Lost You’ is one of the most raw and emotive tracks from ‘HEADRUSH’.

Concluding MILKK’s debut album ‘HEADRUSH’ is ‘Annalise’, This track is the longest of the album, going for just over six minutes. Despite this, it never feels boring or repetitive, instead takes time to fully develop ideas and uncover emotions found within the song. The lyrics are amazingly written and performed; ‘Annalise’ is an overall beautiful song. It really pulls on the heart strings, and stirs up emotions in the responder which other songs have not uncovered. MILKK have left their heart on the line for the finalising track, which is a brave and intelligent thing to do. This rawness and vulnerability is at its peak, reminding the audience of the trust and connection they have established with us through the album. It leaves you wanting more, and successfully leaves you anticipating the new projects from MILKK. ‘Annalise’ wraps up the album of ‘HEADRUSH’ in a beautiful way, leaving us to ponder upon the next move for the band.

Through the album of ‘HEADRUSH’, MILKK let their emotions speak for themselves, creating music which truly showcases who they are. The level of connection you feel with the artist is unlike any other,  and for that, this band should not only be applauded, but more recognised for what they do. We recommend you listen to the new album as soon as you can, because MILKK will not be a small band for long.

Written by Georgia Haskins

Haven’t listened to ‘HEADRUSH’ yet? Do so below and let us know your opinions on MILKK and their music:

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Glenn van den Bosch