Milk Breath

Album: A Quickening (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Former Maccabees frontman Orlando Weeks and his partner welcomed their first child in the summer of 2018. Most of the tracks on Weeks' debut solo album, A Quickening, were written in the lead-up to the birth of his new baby. This was the only song on the record penned after his son was born.
  • Weeks wrote this song about standing over his baby boy, watching him sleep. He explained: "When you've rocked him for 45 minutes and finally the wriggling has stopped and the muscles have relaxed and you put him down in slow motion and then stand, without breathing for another 20 minutes praying that he's asleep."
  • The song is about the feelings of amazement and wonder that Weeks has as he watches his son sleep.

    My Son
    My Son
    Drift off
    You're so new I
    Still forget sometimes
    That I've got you


    He explained to Apple Music: "There's a lyric in the song: 'I sometimes forget that I've got you.' I have it less now, but I still have tiny moments of almost like the opposite of déjà vu. The shock of it. Definitely in those first few weeks, you definitely feel disbelief. You're so unconditioned for it, really. So I repeat the line 'My son' because I wanted to be back and forth between it feeling like statement and question.

    I wanted the vocal - where there's two octaves and a really light harmony - to feel almost whispered and like a meditation of sorts. The vocal had to build and build until it reaches that moment when you need absolute quiet and then suddenly everything sounds like cutlery drawers being opened. It's never a 'Hooray, they're asleep' moment. It's 'It can only go wrong.' So we tried to make it sound like it goes widescreen rather than triumphant, which it did at one point. I think it goes more landscape now, somehow."

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