Editors’ Notes “The theme of the album is resilience and a strength within oneself,” Becky Blomfield, Milk Teeth’s songwriter, bassist, and singer, tells Apple Music. “How you can be tested to your absolute limit but still push through and keep going. It's been four years since our last record, lots of lineup changes, lots of life changes, and a lot of growing up. I think you can hear a maturity in the lyrics on this new record; there’s a lot of self-reflecting and lessons learned.” Blomfield is the only member remaining from the release of the first Milk Teeth record (2016’s Vile Child), with guitarist Em Foster and drummer Jack Kenny on board for this record. Taking cues from their live shows, the band stripped back production—leaving Blomfield’s introspective lyrics and Foster’s visceral guitar lines to shine on the ’90s skater-punk-, metal-, and grunge-influenced tracks. “Perhaps some people had written us off with all the changes that were going on behind the scenes,” she admits. “So we wanted to come back with something strong to show that it hasn't ended us, and show this is how we sound and who we are. Almost like a rebirth, I guess.” Below Blomfield reveals more about that new beginning, describing her album track by track.

Given Up
“We decided to put this track first because it had a big hook—the guitar line is super-duper catchy, and also it shows this slightly edgier sound that was to come with the new record. We’d put out one track before this album called ‘Stain,’ which was definitely also along a darker path lyrically and sonically. So this seemed like the next best fit.”

Flowers
“I love the melody on ‘Flowers,’ but it's my least favorite song on the record. I think it’s the only kind of light relief; it was written in a silly period when I first met my boyfriend and first started to fall in love, and so it’s a little bit more tongue-in-cheek.”

Dilute
“This was written about my own struggle with depression and the struggle with the acceptance of having a mental health condition, about other people who perhaps don't understand that condition. Their struggle to understand where you're at and really empathize, it's the battle of self, but also the battle of other people not quite getting it. That's why the guitar is quite frantic and erratic—I wanted them to mimic the emotion that's being put across lyrically.”

Better
“That came out of a huge upheaval in my life, and it was one of the tracks that came together seamlessly. It was one of those moments where you don't even really have to think, it just sort of fell out of me. It was heavily inspired by No Doubt's ‘Don't Speak’ and has a ballad element, but like an alternative ballad rather than just a straight pop ballad. Lyrically, I wanted it to be quite simplistic, and I think that most of the emotion comes out in my voice. Just performing those choruses in the studio was like some weird kind of therapy in itself.”

Transparent
“We've definitely supported the feminist movement ever since the band first came into fruition, and it was really important for me to have a song where I didn't feel victimized. A lot of the stuff that happened behind the scenes made me feel like a victim for a very, very long time. I didn't want to get on stage and feel really bummed out, I wanted to have a moment where I could unleash and let out a little bit of anger, and it's got, I'd say, lyrically, a bit of my tongue-in-cheek sarcasm.”

Sharks
“This initially started as a ballad on the piano and I uploaded it online. I'm waiting for fans to realize, to see if anybody remembers. So I took it to guitar and fiddled around with the chords and I was kind of inspired by the ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ rhythm by Nirvana, and I knew that I wanted it to have like a choppiness to it and managed to translate that over to the guitar parts.”

Medicine
“This came from a time where my relationship was definitely tested with stuff that was going on and I felt very lost and sad and I want it to be fixed but I don't really know how to fix it. It's my favorite song lyrically on the record; it was more like writing a poem, I'd say. They’re the lyrics I’m the most proud of.”

Destroyer
“It was definitely intentional and purposeful to put one of the softer tracks juxtaposed against basically the heaviest track on the record. We wanted to shock the listener back in again—you go from this sense of being incredibly vulnerable to incredibly pissed off.”

Smoke
“That one is more of a classic love song. It was written when I was on tour with another band a few years ago and I was pretty homesick, and a lot was going on behind the scenes. We were in Europe and I missed my partner. I was quite lonely and isolated, and I just used to go and write little bits of songs while we were away.”

Circles
“I wrote it after Em joined the band, and it was sort of like a thank-you song to her really for bringing me back to life a bit again. I thought I'd challenge our drummer [Jack Kenny] as much as possible, because originally it was a bit slower and then I was like, ‘No, we definitely need to up the tempo of this.’ He absolutely smashed that middle eight with all the drum rolls. It’ll be a test to play live, but a good test—a fitness test!”

Wanna Be
“The last three years have definitely been really tricky, and I think this song provides a sense of closure. It’s sort of like grieving and saying goodbye to a lot of things that have changed. So it felt right that this was the track that should close the record.”

SONG
Given Up
1
3:24
 
Flowers
2
2:23
 
Dilute
3
2:53
 
Better
4
3:37
 
Transparent
5
3:30
 
Sharks
6
2:51
 
Medicine
7
3:43
 
Destroyer
8
4:06
 
Smoke
9
3:14
 
Circles
10
3:48
 
Wanna Be
11
3:16
 

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