Sun Milk was recorded in two months, a much quicker process than the three years spent on their previous release, Flowers. The band recorded the album at the Pharmacy, Vroom’s home studio in Toronto, located above an actual pharmacy. It was the first album to be recorded after Little Kid solidified their live lineup, with Boothby, Vroom, and Germain having played together for over two years. Every song except “Like a Movie” began as a full-band live take, with overdubs performed democratically, with both Boothby and Germain layering guitars. It was also the first record to feature Lunn’s vocals, who joined the band shortly after the album’s release.
The result is a deeply affecting document of personal crisis, mirroring the dramatic changes in Boothby’s life—a breakup, living alone for the first time, beginning a new career. The lyrics have less Christian content and more personal overtones than other Little Kid records. “It was a relief when these songs came out,” says Boothby, “processing recent changes in my life, trying to take ownership of my identity and choices.” This lends a confessional warmth to the songs, a feeling of reconnecting with an old friend, sharing stories. Highlights include the off-kilter opening track “The Fourth” and the lovely, meandering “Ugly Moon.” The centerpiece of the album is “Slow Death in a Warm Bed.” A meditation on why people stay in flawed relationships, the song builds in calming repetitions until the guitars explode in the last minute, climaxing in a full-fledged distorted freakout. It’s one of the most beautiful and harrowing songs in Little Kid’s catalog.
The drifting, gentle “Dim Light Coming Down” features some of Boothby’s best lyrics. The narrator describes a person seeing “the likeness” of their own dead father “floating high above the road,” a mystical encounter rendered in the most plainspoken of terms. But Boothby quickly undercuts the moment: “But you'd been drinking when you saw him/And your mind was moving slow/Like your ears were full of cotton/So what he said you'll never know.” It’s a thwarted encounter that becomes more powerful for that very fact. Just before the song reaches its slow-building climax, Boothby sings, “Coming down/There’s a bright light/A gentle sound/Opening wide.” The transcendence does finally arrive, but it’s in the coming down, the hangover, the regular life that comes after the big moment. There's little wonder why it's become a live staple for the band.
The record is a high point in a remarkably consistent career. Looking back at Sun Milk, Boothby believes it’s one of the strongest in Little Kid’s oeuvre. “It’s probably my favorite,” says Boothby. “In general, I love slow songs, and this album is full of them. I like the structure of seven long songs—can’t think of too many albums with only seven songs. It gives the album an interesting flow.”
Drag Your Cloud
Slow Death In a Warm Bed
Dim Light Coming Down
Like A Movie