Hot Milk’s track-by-track guide to The King And Queen Of…

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In more ways than one, Jim Shaw and Hannah Mee are the king and queen of gasoline.

Joining us, cloudy-eyed, just after waking up on their tour bus, Hot Milk’s dynamic guitarist/vocalist duo are shining bright right now. Having already completed their first-ever run in the USA – going straight to the top of the bill – and having already beaten the European festival circuit this year, the Manchester team are back in the USA. Alongside Waterparks, Neck Deep and Mayday Parade, kudos were earned as one of the brightest lights of the massive Sad Summer traveling festival. Chicago’s massive Lollapalooza storefront was duly destroyed. Hell, they even scored a coveted spot on legendary late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Not bad for a band from the north of England who have yet to record their debut album.

“It’s a long way from Preston,” smiles Han. “It’s the stuff dreams are made of, really. Our label doesn’t want us here! But we don’t want to make the mistake a lot of UK bands make: waiting too long to release just to get an album. We worked a lot on our live show during the pandemic and, having really had to rely on social media during this time, we knew there were people in the United States to play with. In fact, doing it was amazing at first, but then you remember that’s what we were working towards. That’s why you do it. That’s the whole point. This [music] ain’t we you, really. It’s for others. It’s about being able to broadcast some connectivity while we’re on planet Earth, before we blow our hooves.

Recording three EPs before moving on to an album has always been the plan. After making waves with all four tracks from 2019’s Are You Feeling Alive?, then properly drilling off the back of five bangers from 2021’s I JUST WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’M DEAD, their third offering would continue the build with six custom songs. – equipped to see their authors enter the arenas. As release day approaches, Jim explains that the finished article is the “adult” Hot Milk sound. Han explains that growing up means becoming a better storyteller. And there come the other, titular, King And Queen Of Gasoline who inhabit this final set of songs…

“Towards the end of the pandemic, we were living a little too close to the fire,” smiles Han, half-sadly. “We doused ourselves with gasoline and we got too close to the flame: staying out all night until noon the next day, having people doing I don’t know what at my house. It seemed like we were being sucked into an underworld where there’s not much in return. So that’s our dark side. These have become our alter egos. It is the people in us who could have continued to say yes, without ever knowing when to say no…”


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