MILCK unveiled her sophomore EP Into Gold on Friday (Feb. 21) and dished on the inspiration behind all five tracks exclusively for Billboard.
Featuring the idealistic lead single “If I Ruled the World,” the EP finds the singer/songwriter-activist (born Connie K. Lim) delving into the unknown future, leaving behind a five-year relationship to find an even more authentic version of both herself and her music.
Into Gold follows MILCK’s 2018 debut EP, This Is Not The End, which first gained traction with “Quiet,” the viral “one-woman riot” rallying cry of the 2017 Women’s March and the ensuing #MeToo movement.
Below, see the inspiration behind each of her new songs. Into Gold is out now via Atlantic Records.
“If I Ruled the World”
I have found that what we focus on expands. Therefore, imagining the world we want is far more powerful than cursing the things we don’t want. This song is my vision for a better world, laced with humorous and heartfelt lyrics, backed by a contagious beat to allow for the body to joyously dance along.
Too many of us, myself included at times, get hardened by heartbreak and disappointment over the years, and allow ourselves to give into the convenient state of skepticism. Like a children’s poem, this song allows me to tap back into my faith in humanity and the world.
After leaving the man I thought I was going to marry and starting my life over again, I felt the pain of break up that felt like tearing flesh. Then I also experienced a healing and recovery that left me in awe: I came face to face with my ability to turn pain into power. I learned so much about myself through the pain, that has helped me be a better architect to the life that I’m designing now.
This is my sultry, subtly sassy song of confidence that celebrates those out there who are turning their painful experiences into useful lessons, propelling them towards goodness. Those who are learning to turn their tears into gold.
I want this jam to be a song where people can joyfully embody the brave thought: “I’m ready for love.” I’ve spent a lot of my life playing things cool by being aloof, or hiding until someone else validated me. Now that I have lived through a few big heartbreaks and found myself being able to climb back to joy again, I am not afraid to yell from the rooftops of my willingness to love. It’s vulnerable as all hell, but I know I’m strong enough to face the gifts and pains of whatever new adventure I’m freefalling into.
This song is an ode to humanity’s persistent hunger for love. Even after my most difficult and hard heartbreak, I found myself starting to be curious about connecting with others again. I remember looking in the mirror and laughing with disbelief: “How in the world am I already wanting to explore new love?” What a miracle of sorts. As I walk down the street and look at the strangers, I see that everyone is a walking miracle. Everyone is a superhero of sorts, able to endure the breaking of the heart, and then the getting back up again to try again.
This persistent love is relevant in romance, but also with the world. The news can break our heart, but we can continue to search for the light in the world. We can continue to be willing to open up ourselves to the potential of human connection.
“Don’t Make It Easy”
I wrote this song two days after my breakup from a five-year relationship. We had built a life together. We had envisioned a future together. However, as life evolved, we were growing apart, and there was something calling me to go out into the world on my own. I didn’t quite know why I had to leave, and it was torture to not have a solid thing to point to explain why I needed to leave. My ex was and still is so supportive of my path, and was so kind to me through all of the pain.
This song reflects that very human desire within so many of us for our lovers to be terrible to us so we have a reason we can point to when we do decide to cut the cord.