“I’m scared for the future!” says Camille Poliquin with a laugh, leaning back in her window seat at Café Laika, “there’s a few shows coming up in Montreal, like Broods, and Jessie Ware at the Corona Theatre, that I just won’t be here for…and I think, ‘is this how it’s going to be from now on?’” While Poliquin appears to be young and wide-eyed like most emerging musicians, she already possesses the undeniable confidence of a seasoned pro. She knows that the biggest worry that both her and the equally talented Laurence Lafond-Beaulne face is travelling too often; getting too big; garnering too much international acclaim (if that’s even possible).
Since the release of their singles ‘New York’ and ‘Coconut Water’ less than a year ago, Poliquin and Lafond-Beaulne —who form the electronic duo Milk & Bone— have been gathering a steady amount of internet recognition; a feature in NYLON Magazine, a Vimeo Staff Pick, and over 350,000 plays on their song ‘Pressure’ being a few of their accomplishments thus far. Musicians by profession, both women have been firmly planted in the Quebecois music scene for some time —Alex Nevsky, Misteur Valaire, David Giguère, and Les Soeurs Boulay are a few of the fellow musicians listed on their studio résumés. While it was unfortunate that both women could not be there at the time of the interview —Lafond-Beaulne was in the studio with Ariane Moffatt— it’s clear that this has become a regular occurrence: both of them running around, playing in a multitude of bands, working on their own material, making press stops (like this), and maybe sleeping if they get the chance.
While Milk & Bone’s career has just begun, it’s clear that it’s a project built on passion rather than ego; the band serves as a vessel for their emotions rather than the pursuit of fortune and fame (although both are welcomed outcomes). “Our music is so universally welcomed on the internet right now – we’re just really, really lucky that we fell into that little space,” says Poliquin, “it wasn’t conscious at all, it just…happened.” Smooth and clear, their voices are milk and honey over each dense, bass-driven track. With their debut album Little Mourning being launched tomorrow (March 17th) at the PHI Center, it seems like they have been playing together for much, much longer than they claim. Their music is airy, their lyrics sparse and sexy, telling stories of heartbreak and promiscuity in a variety of colours and shapes. “We find that women, in general, are expected to write sweet songs, lots of ‘I love you so much’ and ‘I wish I could be with you,’ and I felt like we just wanted it to be raw and to say things as they are. And that’s what happened.”
While born francophone both women are perfectly bilingual, allowing for Milk & Bone’s music to be sung in English —an unconscious decision, but one which undoubtedly opens up a bigger market worldwide. “We can both write songs in French, it’s not a problem, but it’s just not the same feeling at all. For me, English, is just the language of my emotions. Even if I get in an argument with a Francophone, and I get really heated up, I’ll switch to English instantly. It’s just that whenever I have to express my feelings, that’s how I do it.”
Leaving for SXSW at six o’clock in the morning the day after their album launch (“such a great idea”), Milk & Bone will begin a two-month long tour opening for Ariane Moffatt, with a few potential (and unconfirmed) European tour dates in the spring. “The album went so quickly,” says Poliquin, “we went into the studio, we started recording, we didn’t even have our songs —it took a year— but we were just writing and recording at the same time. Now we’re at the point where we just finished recording…and we’re developing! So we’re open to go anywhere in the world where people will have us.”
Happy to stay in Quebec, but looking forward to playing shows wherever they’re wanted, it’s clear the both women are talented, hungry, and prepared for success.