No Milk, No Sugar

How do you take your weekend morning coffee?

Yesterday, I tried something different while doing a workout on the bike trainer: instead of listening to music, I listened to a couple of episodes of the The Ongoing History of New Music podcast, hosted by Canadian broadcaster Alan Cross.

I listened to the first of a two-part episode, “A Guide to Genres,” a journey through the birth of rock & roll, which spawned rock, then punk rock, post-punk and the explosion of different genres and sub-genres that evolved from there. Before that program, I listened to “Golden Age of Synths as Told by OMD,” in which Cross and two members of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, an English band from my ancestral home of Merseyside, talked about the popularity of synthesizers in the 1970s and 80s, leading to the rise of ambient and electronic music genres.

Then, coincidentally, I felt drawn to read up on the song “No Milk, No Sugar” by the Montréal, Canada band, Islands. They were an indie rock band, active from 2005 to 2016. The song appears on their seventh and final album, Taste (2016).

Taste had a heavy emphasis on electronic music through the use of vintage synthesizers and programmed drum machines, giving a synth-pop sound. This was a definite departure from most of their music (or at least the numerous songs I heard while reading material about the band and writing this post). The band’s lyrics had a style that hopped between lampooning and outright cynical; unique, somewhat amusing, and engaging.

So, “No Milk, No Sugar” was a serendipitous re-discovery from my collection after hearing the history of synthesizers in music. The song seems to be a parody of the ennui of a society lacking presence, commitment and purpose.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy with your morning coffee.

Here’s the video Islands member Nick Thorburn directed for the song, on the JASH YouTube channel (a comedy community and advertising agency, whose acronym means “Just Attitude So Hey”):

Full, unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of

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