Milk & Bone’s latest single, “Daydream,” opens with a simple line: “Touch me.” As the first track off their forthcoming sophomore album, the track indicates a sensual new direction for the dreamy, Montreal-based synth duo, whose debut, 2015’s Little Mourning, was a slow, somber record filled with crushing harmonies.
“I don’t know if we would have done that on the first album,” said Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, one-half of Milk & Bone, referring to the song’s opening lyric, with a giggle. “Daydream” was the first song the pair wrote for their upcoming record; it began as an exercise in conjuring a cool, slow-burning mood and quickly became a reflection on the heady early moments of a new romance.
“For this album, there’s sexual desire. I feel like we’re expressing ourselves as the women we’re becoming,” said Lafond-Beaulne’s bandmate Camille Poliquin. The duo were still humming with excitement over the release of the single in August, as it heralded the beginning of the cycle for their new record. Lafond-Beaulne echoed Poliquin, describing them as more comfortable discussing “sexuality and tension and desire,” she said. “We’re more raw in our subjects and our lyrics.”
“I feel like a lot of the time, feminine feelings, or the way women feel,” Poliquin began, “We’re made to feel uncomfortable about them. We wanted to just dive into it.” Lafond-Beaulne chimed in: “And own them.”
So it’s fitting that the track’s accompanying video, which premieres exclusively here on W, opens with a famous line from Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair: “I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” They had first considered going with the dictionary definitions of the word “daydream” or “dreaming” as the epigraph, but decided instead to opt for the poet who, as Lafond-Beaulne put it, “speaks best about love and desire.”
Like the brighter sounds of the song, the video also incorporates warmer, sunnier images, including an opening shot with palm trees and a full view of the ocean. The video dances around pink-tinged dreamscapes across Los Angeles (“It’s really hard to find those colors in Montreal,” Lafond-Beaulne admitted—apparently, the millennial pink trend never made its way north), including an all-pink hotel room and a scene in front of a pink ATM. It was not an accident; Poliquin even wore pink for the occasion, her first venture into wearing color, she said, in two years.
“Daydream” was the product of several consecutive 21-hour work days spent in hotel rooms, on basketball courts, and, most notably, on the beach, where the two musicians appear submerged in sand up to their neck. Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin actually buried themselves in sand. (“I was very anxious by the end,” Poliquin said. “It was intense,” Lafond-Beaulne added.)
It’s fittingly surreal—in one scene, a flaming basketball rolls across a court; in another, a UFO drifts past—for a song entitled “Daydream.” There are details you don’t catch till the second or third or fourth watch. But by the end of the marathon shoot, the conclusion was all too real: After they wrapped, Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin returned to their hotel room, ordered pizza and beer, and fell asleep.
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