Historically, the words ‘Scottish’ and ‘rap’ have not gone hand in hand.
This has been gradually changing over the last five years or so, and MC Almond Milk certainly looks like he will be a big part of that.
The postman from sunny Govan is back with a new full-length album, Full Day, Cool Times.
The album begins with a relaxed tone on track one ‘Wet Wednesday Pt.1’, where Almond Milk mixes carefully crafted lyrics with a dreamy beat and bassline.
This track is the first taste of Almond Milk’s skill as a lyricist, while still staying true to his Scottish roots, jumping from a reference to the Beastie Boys in a “post snack lucid rap nap” to the most romantic line of Scottish poetry since Burns – “we are two halves of the same- a full pizza crunch”.
The title of track two ‘Yuptae Dollface’ would suggest a swaggering tune full of bravado and witty chat up lines that will have all the girls running for the dance floor, however what we find is a sardonic look at social media and ‘youth culture’- “I bought a selfie stick to beat this selfie generation with”.
This song shows a real disdain for the world and bitterness in Almond Milk’s lyrics, which are in stark contrast to the looping acoustic guitar and relaxed delivery.
‘1995’ is a nostalgic journey through summers filled with dirty gutties and bowl cuts that will have anyone of a certain age and disposition grabbing a bottle of Devon’s finest tonic wine and heading for a park with Oasis blaring on their Walkman.
As the story continues from 1995 to 2015, the narrative goes through the ups and downs of life and growing up; the craft is how the beat and music becomes more frantic during the less pleasant parts of Almond Milk’s formative years and relaxes when he raps about the good times, referenced in the repetition of the line “take that slowing down and speed it back up”.
‘Was Swept Away, Think that Always Happens’ couples a downbeat backing track with layers of news reader style backing vocals that give a feel of a haunting, existential Public Service Announcement.
This seems to set the tone for this section of the album, as things take a slightly introspective twist on this and the following track ‘A Change is as Good as a Holiday’.
These two tracks both see a lull in the tempo and flow of the album but this is a welcome break.
The break is over as ‘Black Coffee’ launches in with upbeat keyboards and Almond Milk in full flow, ably assisted by Julian Corrie on vocals, this track has more of a party to feel it with a bouncy bassline and 80’s keyboards.
While there is a party feel, there is still the juxtaposition of Almond Milk’s less than party lyrics that works well.
It’s almost as if having a black coffee woke Almond Milk up from his slumber as the following track ‘Me IRL’ continues the upbeat tempo.
The chorus of this track “if I stop making sense then I’ll die” seems to sum up the whole narrative of the album as Almond Milk tries to make sense of culture and himself.
This is continued in the final track ‘Pics Or It Didn’t Happen’.
The lyrics seem to show more of Almond Milk’s disdain for modern culture: “I used to believe I’d get a fix from rapping, pics or it didn’t happen,” coupled with repeating the mantra of “I used to believe” show a longing for a simpler time.
Full day, Cool Times is an excellent album with a number of ups and downs, showing a real insight into the mind of this exciting MC.
Words: Steven Aitken