Rumor Milk: “WRONG NAME” EP Review

Written By: Ethan Griggs

My Music: ethangriggsmusic.virb.com

Originality: (3.0 / 5)
Vocals/Flow: (3.0 / 5)
Lyrics: (4.0 / 5)
Production: (4.0 / 5)
Average: (3.5 / 5)

Rumor Milk is the new project from Toronto artist Mira Martin. After releasing a few records under the Montana Tyranno moniker, she’s back with the first EP under her newly christened name. WRONG NAME was recorded in her bedroom in Toronto, Ontario but on her Bandcamp page Martin describes the recording as “located on or near the traditional territory of the mississaugas of the credit river and other anishinaabeg, wendat, and haudenosaunee First Nations”. Indeed, Mira Martin stands with the natives and the indigenous people of the Western world. Describing herself as both Scottish and a woman of the Mi’kmaq tribe, Martin makes music that many North Americans will enjoy regardless of their ancestry.

Describing her music as “queercore” the homespun aesthetic and classic indie vibe of the record is immediately recognized through the aptly named opener “modest blouse (the sweater song)”. The acoustic guitars and light drums play like a pop punk band that’s recording an MTV Unplugged session, but there is also the sound of Martin’s Roland SH-101 synthesizer. The first verse is calm, but the chorus rips open with as much fire as a bedroom recording can muster. Martin’s voice is ridged and rough as she sings “i know better/than to dress for the weather/an assessment of safety/might call for a sweater.

Next comes the EP’s best song, the tempo-changing and defiantly powerful “the world is an extremely bad place and i am afraid”. This song is obviously a political gesture by Martin, as she sounds determined to defy the current status quo in North America. With the EP’s most catchy melody she sings, “you don’t have to fight in the revolution/you can just lie in your bedroom/you don’t have to cry over everything/try to enjoy the afternoon”, and she calls the oppressed to arms through the power of song.

The title track, the EP’s final song, is melancholy and lustful for love. Recalling bands like Built to Spill and Death Cab for Cutie, the song brings to mind a certain nostalgia for the indie and alternative music of the 90’s. In terms of vocals, this is Martin at her most innocent and pure, as she sings “you and me in the dark is all i really want babe/you in the dark with me the whole night/nobody, nobody calling us the wrong name/oh how we spark to see the darkness bright”. It’s also one of the best arrangements on the album, as it sounds like the listener is lost in the night and looking for a lost teenage love. 

The lyric that sticks throughout the whole EP is from the second track, when the singer refrains to one of 2017’s main mottos: “existence is resistance”. On WRONG NAME, Mira Martin gives us her fears, her hopes, and most importantly her confidence. As she traverses her path as a young transwoman, she incorporates her fears and her struggles into her personal brand of modern rock.