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  • Hot Milk Releases Debut Album “A Call To The Void”

  • Manchester-based alt-rock band Hot Milk, consisting of Han Mee (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Jim Shaw (lead vocals/guitar), Tom Paton (bass) and Harry Deller (drums), released their highly-anticipated debut album “A Call To The Void” on August 25, 2023.

    The album comprises 11-track, featuring guest appearances from Julian Comeau and Loveless, produced by Jim Shaw and Zakk Cervini.
    The band shared about the album, “A modern analysis of the dichotomy between the darkness of the inner world and the darkness of the outer world which inform our personal world views and realities. Joy, commonality, the exertion of powerful feeling and energy exist somewhere in between. In this record we journey through all these feelings, some being specific moments and some being more abstract,,, all of them in relation to being on the precipice of trying to understand the dark side and void that exists inside us all. Cause and effect? Effects turn to cause? There's always a voice in your head telling you to jump and for us, that ledge has become worn from our feet. L'appel du vide.”
  • Jim Shaw told Apple Music, “We've grown up a lot in four years with the experiences we've had, life moving around us, having to deal with loss for the first time.”
    Han Mee continued, “It's the overwhelmingness of those questions. It's where A Call to the Void came from as a notion, where, when you go through all those things, life in the trenches, it's like there's this overarching black hole. That's what we wanted to encapsulate: the light and dark side of life, the reality of it all.”
    Jim Shaw said of the album in an interview with Rock Sound, “We'd been on the road for three months and were just burned out. We went to LA for a change of scenery and were working with Zakk (Cervini, producer) who just sat us down and said 'well, what do you wanna write?'. It slowly started this concept, which is loose, but it is about the feeling we had then and there. Displacement, a feeling of failure. Losing the ability to feel anything because you have pushed everything away to try and protect yourself. That was a really big starting place for all the content of the record.”

  • To date, the band has released three EPs “Are You Feeling Alive?”, “I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I'm Dead”, and “The King and Queen of Gasoline”.
    Jim Shaw explained what the difference is between the EP and the full-length album, “We've always talked about being a bit heavier and a bit screamier. That's the music we've always loved. It would be a disservice to ourselves if we didn't explore these avenues because of what people might think.”
    He continued, “With an EP, you've got to be straight down the line. It doesn't leave a whole lot of room for experimentation. But with a bigger body of music, you can treat that as a journey. We really grabbed that by the horns - what do we want to include here?”

    Han Mee and Jim Shaw explained track-by-track for the album via Apple Music.

    Jim Shaw: “We always had the idea that we wanted to start the album with both our voices. It's always been me and Han, that's how it started, with our two voices. We wanted to introduce the album from both of us with this almost-hymn and a euphoric feel, like the church doors have opened and the choir is singing.”
    Han Mee: “Lyrically, it is an intention and a mission statement of what you're about to hear. I think the fans will appreciate the grandiose sound of it. We're about to enter the pearly white gates or maybe the spiky black gates of Hell. Who knows which one it is?”

    Han Mee: “We'd been listening to a lot of The Prodigy, Pendulum vibes, and we love drum 'n' bass, so that was sonically where we wanted this song to sit. It's built to have this structure where you want it to get to that release. When it goes crazy, it works with the meaning of the song itself, which is me not being afraid to be the weirdo. I remember getting called a 'horror show' growing up and it's leaning into that. This way of life that we've followed, this rock music identity, it gets in your DNA and it gets in your bloodstream and becomes your whole life. So, it's like, 'I might be a bit of a nightmare, might be a horror show, but fuck you.'”

    Han Mee: “It's still a rock song, but it's like a house or EDM track as well. We love putting everything together and we love that kind of music, it working as two genres married together. It was a fun song to write.”
    Jim Shaw: “Me and Hannah [Han] have always loved house music. We've always gone to Creamfields, we've gone to The Warehouse Project [Manchester's annual season of club nights]. The whole spectrum of electronic music is very much in our veins. We've always had in our head this scene of this dark and dirty club, like a [Berlin nightclub] Berghain kind of vibe.”

    Han Mee: “This is quite nihilistic. A lot of people are like, 'It doesn't mean anything,' but it does because the point is that it's supposed to be everything or nothing. It's supposed to be darkness in a light place. It's that whole feeling of, 'I'm just going to keep doing this until the day I die.' I've always said, 'I'm going to try heroin on my deathbed. I'm going to get my son to inject it between my toes.' It's the funny thing I say to my friends, so it came from that.”
    Jim Shaw: “It's a 'fuck it!' song. It's seizing life as it comes at you and trying to get the most out of it and saying, 'I'll be partying on my deathbed, I'll be singing my way out all the way through.'”

    Han Mee: “This was an idea I had while I was on mushrooms in America. I was watching a lot of music documentaries at the time, and a lot of them mentioned the same thing: how they always used to go back to Alice Cooper's pool house for afters. I thought it'd be quite funny if I wrote a song about him telling you something at afters—you know how you get all deep and stuff at afters?—and it just blew your mind. It ended up getting to Alice Cooper himself and he ended up doing a skit on the end of it, which was insane. I always say it's the mushroom trip that never ended.”

    Jim Shaw: “We've played this for maybe three years and it's changed drastically every single time. When we wrote it, it was about how consumed we are with technology and social media. I can't stand social media and it was the frustration of being like, 'Unless it's online, it didn't even happen.' It's asking people basically to get their heads out of the phone and see the world.”

    Han Mee: “There was a feeling I wanted to write about but I wasn't sure how to convey it. Also, I think saying, 'Over your dead body' can be quite strong if you're being serious. I'd been listening to and reading a lot of John Cooper Clarke poems. I love the way that he is so tongue-in-cheek and cheeky with it all. I was like, 'That's where the song has to be. Let's go really cheeky in the lyrics and the verses and let's just have a bassline and vocal and see where this song's going to take us.' It's about the way that we talk about people that have done us wrong. At the time, I was pretty angry about the way that someone had done something, so it was kind of about them.”

    Jim Shaw: “This is probably my favorite track and it's got no right to be because it's basically a Frankenstein of three other songs plus another. We were in LA and [blink-182's] Mark Hoppus hit us up and was like, 'Do you want to try writing a song together?' We were like, 'Fuck, yeah.' It started in his basement and we took it back and sewed it into stuff that we already had. From a sonic perspective, I really wanted something that started synth-driven and then moved into something super aggressive.”

    Han Mee: “I feel like this song is the greatest encapsulation of my pain that I've ever managed to create. Even now, when I listen to it, it makes me upset because I'm still feeling like that. This song is probably the most important song we've ever written just for my own sanity and my own brain and the way that I managed to create the lyrical content and it flew out. It needed to be written. It's never been hard for me to share, to talk about my emotions. I'm blessed and gifted, but at the same time, it's not a very great thing for everybody all the time. It's not hard for me to talk about my feelings, so I feel like it was like, 'Of course Hannah's written this.'”

    “AMPHETAMINE” feauring Julian Comeau and Loveless
    Han Mee: “This is another social commentary song about the fact that you're kept awake all night because of the stuff that happens in the world, and it's just a bit of a mad place that we live in. This is a tongue-in-cheek thing about the amphetamine that's built into the news, this notion that we're controlled by fear.”
    Jim Shaw: “Originally, this was the end of the album. We collected these 10 songs and the way that ended, we wanted to bookend the album the way we started it, so we got Julian Comeau [TikTok star and one half of emo-pop duo Loveless] involved and wanted this big vocal ending where all of us were singing different things and then all came together at the end with that big ending, the same way it starts.”

    Jim Shaw: “This is about the passing of my granddad through dementia. That was something I was dealing with right then and there and I wasn't sure—I'm the complete opposite to Hannah, I'm not very good at expressing my emotions and telling people how I feel.”
    Han Mee: “I had an idea of how he was feeling, so I would write lines and show them to him, and he would say yes or no. If he said yes, I'd go, 'Why don't you write the next one?' just to prise it out of him.”
    Jim Shaw: “We wanted to do something that didn't really have any guitars or live drums, something that was different. I'm super happy how this song came out. It's everything that I thought it would be and more.”
  • source : Apple Music
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