After successfully releasing three EPs, Hot Milk has unveiled their highly anticipated debut album, ‘A Call To The Void‘. The British duo, composed of Hannah Mee and James Shaw, first crossed paths in 2016 at a Manchester bar. Since then, their growth has been remarkable. From securing an invitation to open for the Foo Fighters next year to recently performing at Reading & Leeds Festival, the emo-fueled duo is solidifying its presence.
The LP’s tracks hit like a freight train, combining heavy guitars, synths, and commanding vocals. ‘A Call To The Void‘ delves into various themes. These include mental health, the challenges of contemporary life, betrayal, grief, and the journey forward. The essence of the album can be encapsulated by the lyrics, “Always found the beauty in darkness,” from the song ‘HORROR SHOW‘. Furthermore, the album offers listeners captivating melodies intertwined with melancholic and poignant lyrics. In essence, the band’s own beauty within darkness.
The album’s production, realized by Shaw, Zakk Cervini, and Philip Strand, presents a modern sound that harmonises with the emo pop-punk essence of the late 2000s and early 2010s. While drawing inspiration from bands like blink-182 (‘MIGRAINE‘ was co-written with Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus), the project remains fresh. It can find its way through a younger audience and appeal also to older fans of the emo genre.
Consisting of 11 songs, the LP seamlessly fuses genres, maintaining its potency within the electronic and rock realms. Tracks like ‘BLOODSTREAM‘ and ‘PARTY ON MY DEATHBED‘ invite listeners to immerse themselves in the party atmosphere of ‘A Call To The Void‘. They provide an atmosphere for both headbanging and dancing. The album then ventures into a more visceral phase with ‘OVER YOUR DEAD BODY‘ and ‘MIGRAINE‘. The former showcases compelling vocals, alternating between Hannah and James in the verses and merging their voices in the chorus. Additionally, the song incorporates cinematic elements, subtly introducing strings that gradually expand as the track ends. On the other hand, ‘MIGRAINE‘ blends delicate atmospheric and melodic elements with raw screams.
Hot Milk guides us into the void with the album’s final tracks. ‘BREATHING UNDERWATER’ emanates a pleading prayer, a cascade of beautiful screams conveying desperation toward someone who may never hear them. Further to this, ‘FORGET ME NOT‘ feels like a cathartic ballad, inviting us to join the duo in navigating grief and loss. As the song concludes, it finally echoes the album’s title: “There’s a call to the void.”