I heard the title of Keiandra’s ‘Milk Tooth’ before I heard the track itself. I so badly wanted it to be good because I thought it had such a great title, so evocative and powerful, calling to mind memories of childhood and feelings of vulnerability and protection. I wanted this song to encapsulate all of these things, to be delicate but arresting, nostalgic but melancholic. And it is.
‘Milk Tooth’ is a creeping, vaguely sinister swell of dream-pop that leads you hypnotised through its changing moods and sensations, from an initial surge of dread through a sleepy, almost lullaby chorus via a jungle of synth, trumpet and heartbreak. A winning combination if ever there was one.
Keiandra’s vocals are really the glue that makes this whole set-up make sense. Wistful and wallowing, they compliment the brooding sombreness of the verses while offering a sort of ironic, almost optimistic, lilt for the chorus. Her voice is something hopeful amidst the haunting arrangement, something human and emotional nestled within the suffocating mesh of electronics and percussion.
‘Milk Tooth’ occupies a weird space between sad and hopeful and it’s this tension that makes it so compelling. While the lyrics speak of sadness, Keiandra’s detached, nonplussed vocals let us know that she’s basically OK, even if for now she wants to wrap herself in a blanket of moody melancholia. We’ve all been there, but few of us has have emerged from heartbreak with a souvenir as pretty as this.