- Dom America
“Dare to Exist”
Milk Music honors the outsider. “Dare to Exist” distills that. Reportedly composed some seven years ago, it’s an arresting highlight from the Olympia band’s new self-released LP, Mystic 100’s. Among its maelstrom of serrated guitar noise, Alex Coxen’s vocals have a torn lilt, situating his dreamer logic within a storm of reality. He turns the song’s title into a mantra for the everyday figures who inhabit its lyrics: someone who lost their “druggy friends,” a woman who “just had a kid.” “There’s too much gravity in the world for you to exist,” Coxen sings. “You dare to exist.”
“Dare to Exist” is a bottle rocket of Milk Music’s exquisite expressiveness. At times, the song glistens; by the end, owing to the extremity of its subject matter, it’s downright metallic. But this is probably Milk Music’s catchiest tune. There is an ease to “Dare to Exist” that life never seems to offer. “The world is insane,” Coxen eventually sings, “And it’s hard to exist.” Having rejected the mechanisms of faux-DIY music culture (bigger labels, branded festivals), Milk Music dare to exist as a band; they’ve become underground heroes for that. But on “Dare to Exist,” they celebrate the heroism of average people just getting by.