MILCK's "This Is Not The End" Is An Album Of Feminist Anthems For Our Time

MILCK is my new obsession. The thirty-something artist and L.A. native, whose real name is Connie Lim, recently released her first EP, This Is Not The End. I discovered the album while working on an assignment for a music journalism course I’m taking this semester, and, weeks later, I’m still listening to it on repeat.

She made the national news in 2017, after performing “Quiet” – her second original single and a call for women to speak out against the misogyny that permeates their lives – at the Women’s March in Washington with a crowd of protestors who had never met until that day.

Not all of her songs touch upon feminist themes quite so explicitly, but each one is political in its own way, from the very personal “I Don’t Belong To You” to the all-encompassing “This Is Not The End.”

If you’ve been wondering where this generation's protest songs are, look no further.

“Call of the Wild”

I was meant to fly

With shadows in the sky

I cannot stay

I can hear the call of the wild

Atmospheric is how I’d describe this song. It’s a little sad, yet determined all the same, so I interpreted it as staying true to your convictions and not giving up hope. What a beautiful intro to the album!

“I Don’t Belong To You”

Too long, my back's been breaking

Too long, I've been crusading for you

Been so accommodatin’

To your manipulatin'

But I had a revelation

That's not how love should be

I love MILCK’s sense of righteous indignation at the injustices of the world! Whether you’re getting out of an abusive relationship or are slowly but surely jettisoning the sexist ideas you’ve absorbed over a lifetime, this is the perfect song to play when you’re good and angry.

“Quiet”

But no one knows me, no one ever will

If I don’t say something, if I just lie still

Would I be that monster, scare them all away

If I let them hear what I have to say?

Based on her own experiences of abuse and sexual assault, this song launched MILCK to fame last year and describes how terrifying, yet ultimately freeing, speaking out can be. The first time I heard it, I cried. She describes herself as a “one-woman riot” later on in the song – and may have truly felt that way at the time of writing – but she has gone on to move so many others to take action.

“Ooh Child”

Someday we'll get it together

And we'll get it all done

This is the only cover song on the album and I think it was a perfect choice! MILCK does a great job of balancing anger and brutal honesty about the state of the world with kindness and reassurance.  

“Black Sheep”

Black sheep

They call me that too

I've wrestled with the dark

But I made it through

And so will you

I wish my lonely, misfit younger self had had this song. Here, MILCK acknowledges that the outspokenness she describes in the previous tracks can come at a cost: Not everyone will understand you. You may even lose a few friends along the way. But you’ll make it through… and find others like you. Just trust her (and me).

“Undercover”

It's all I ever wanted

To let down my guard

Be out in the open

Don't have to try so har

My favorite track on the album! MILCK’s message here is one we all need to be reminded of from time to time: it’s more important to stay true to yourself than to worry about being likable. No one is perfect!

“This Is Not The End

Trouble will come

Trouble will go

This is not the end

Neatly encapsulating the mood of the entire album, “This Is Not The End” reassures listeners that no matter how messed up the world may be, nothing is ever permanent. Plus, the responsibility for change lies in our own hands: “I will look them in the eye / will not be the beast that hides,” she sings. “I will hunt my hunters down.”

Personally, I can’t wait for MILCK’s next album. From her voice to her combination of gentleness and fury, there is so much to love about her music. Today’s political climate is a difficult and unsteady one, but I know This Is Not The End will help me get through it. You can find the album on Spotify or download it on iTunes.

What is your favorite song on This Is Not The End?

Photos: cover, 1, 2, 3, 4