Milk & Bone Invites You to ‘Dive’ Into the Summer

Montreal Pop Duo Releases New Retrowave EP

  • The new EP explores spacious melodies and the heavy synths of retrowave. Courtesy Bonsound

Following the release of their sophomore album Deception Bay last year, Montreal duo Milk & Bone is back with four new songs on an extended play titled Dive, released May 24. This project marks a new collaboration between Milk & Bone and Alex Lustig, a producer from Antwerp, Belgium who has worked with artists such as Drake and Young Thug in the past.

“We’re feeling good, excited! We weren’t prepared really, we never planned on releasing this EP, it kind of just happened,” said Camille Poliquin who forms the duo with Laurence Lafond-Beaulne.

On Dive, the pair explored spacious melodies and heavy synths of retrowave. Born in online communities, the genre draws inspiration from 80s movies soundtracks and video games. “We want to explore something different every time. It felt natural to go there,” said Lafond-Beaulne.

“It’s super melancholic. It throws you back to your high school years,” she said.

“And that’s probably why the songs we wrote were so nostalgic,” she added. “These sounds bring you back to another era of naive feeling.”

The pair had previously dipped their toes into this genre with their 2016 single “Nathalie.” “We knew that people liked our song ‘Nathalie.’ Alex [Lustig] loves that song and was like ‘I’d like to do more of that with you,’” said Poliquin.

The songs on Dive were all made during a highly productive four-day session and they realized that some of the songs they had been making had a similar energy.

“We worked together just to see what came out. And finally a lot came out,” said Lafond-Beaulne. “So it’s not like an album on which we’ve been working on for a year, being super invested. It’s a lollipop album in a way.”

Having someone new in the studio changed their approach to writing and the themes they felt like exploring. “It breaks that intimacy that we have together. Some things we can share together, with Alex there maybe we wouldn’t go there so it has an impact,” said Lafond-Beaulne.

This gave a lighter and more confident feel to the songs on Dive, still touching on love and nostalgia but from a more hopeful place.

“When we go deep in our feelings and further into what we want to say, of course more vulnerable stuff is going to come out. But writing so fast like this in a session, more energy and bubbly feelings came out,” said Poliquin.

Rather than basing all the songs on their personal experiences, Milk & Bone explored their imagination to build stories from simple moments.

“Women are bringing pop somewhere else.” — Laurence Lafond-Beaulne

“I’d think about a memory from maybe a week ago and try to write a story around that, as if it was someone else’s memory,” said Lafond-Beaulne.

Hints of the fun environment the music was made in are found in their lyrics, melodies, and details of the new EP. They realized during mixing that one of the edits of their song “Blue Dream” lasted exactly four minutes and 20 seconds. “It was a beautiful coincidence that we chose to keep,” said Lafond-Beaulne.

The band recently released a video for the single “Peaches” in collaboration with the Montreal-based director Soleil Denault.

“She’s so good, she’s so talented, she’s an underdog. And she’s one of the few directors who take the time to understand what your vision is, and make something that resembles you,” said Poliquin.

They have worked together since they started releasing music and share a good understanding of each project’s intentions. Denault works as an art director in advertising, and Milk & Bone offers her fun and creative projects.

“I really admire their talent, so it’s always been very natural and inspiring to be part of their
universe, to help them build their visual identity. And we have a strong creative relation,” said Denault.

The director appreciates the confidence that the band brings to the projects. Milk & Bone generally comes to Denault with a broad idea and they work together on realizing their vision.

“On top of everything, they always push me to trust my own vision, as a girl in a masculine environment. They are absolutely a turning point in my creative confidence.”

The band is conscious about the ways in which the pop industry is still heavily male-dominated, but they feel hopeful about where things are headed.

“What I love right now with feminism taking a more important place in music is just that it makes us more free to do whatever we want,” said Poliquin.

“Women are bringing pop somewhere else,” said Lafond-Beaulne. The band lists artists like Grimes and Charli XCX as the women who inspire them at the moment, and that represent this generation of empowered artists. “It inspires me to just be the most authentic daring self that I can be,” said Poliquin.

The band will soon be back on the road with the last few shows for their Juno award winning album Deception Bay. They will also be playing Montreal’s Mural festival on June 7.

“Mural is one of our favorite festivals and I always go see the shows. So I’m really excited to be a part of that,” said Poliquin.

“We’re excited to play these songs for the last few times. People want to party at festivals anyway, so the vibe is cool and you can do what you want,” said Lafond-Beaulne.

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