ALBUM REVIEW: Spilt Milk Society Reflects on Hopefully Anyway

UK-based band Spilt Milk Society was not crying over their beverage loss on May 19, 2023; instead, they were celebrating the release of their sophomore album Hopefully Anyway, a long-awaited, dynamic sequel to their self-titled debut. Harry Handford (Vocals, guitar), Nicky Hyde (guitar), Bobby Ford (drums), Jordi James (bass) make up Spilt Milk Society, the quartet quickly topping indie charts and attracting radios worldwide. After the success of their first collection in 2015, the band has crafted their follow-up twelve track encompassment of themes of identiy, society, and the dangers of being too wistful.


Hopefully Anyway opens on the light-hearted, animated notes of “Call You Back.” The chill verses that lead to the synth-ed out choruses portray the coming-of-age, summer feel the album carries, especially as Handford sings “I’m learning to be free/It means so much to me.” The following track, “Hoping To Find,” continues the bright, indie rock tune and blends together the simple, but undeniably catchy power of a drum and an electric guitar.

The third song “Bon Iver” grapples the all too familiar feeling of an artist’s work constantly reminding a person of their previous relationship. Handford expresses his inability to listen to Bon Iver — and to an extent, his inability to let his love go — through misleading lively riffs and hard-hitting drums that build up to the chorus. It correlates with the next piece, “Find My Friend,” that maintains the reflective, slightly self-deprecating nature the album holds as Handford admits that “He’s a mess/Everyone is.”

“Spilt Milk Society,” the fifth song on Hopefully Anway, is as unpredictable as the title itself. Over three minutes of spoken word repetitions, the track is spine-chilling with its minor key set and dark commentary on the world: “It’s society/I can see the irony.” This is one of many times the quartet incorporates periods of preaching, the power-punching words serving as a segue to the deeper issues, whether from a global or individual perspective, that the song will continue expanding upon. Trailing it is the melancholic counterpart “Choco Mono,” the song derailing from the usual spits of electric guitar into electro notes and slower tempos. It further develops the social commentary seen in the earlier song, but highlights it from Handford’s viewpoint as a member in a consumerist society. “Feeling anxious/I need to buy a new thing on the worldwide web/Order something before six P.M./And it’ll come by the next day/Hopefully anway.”

The eighth and eleventh tracks, “memory bank_anger” and “memory bank_error.” respectively, provide contrasting feelings despite their similar names. However, the one constant between the two compelling pieces, is the message of just keep trying. Both tracks focus on the band humanizing themselves, as well as their flaws, and leveling with their less than ideal emotional responses, ultimately getting up for another day just to see if they could become something better. Ford’s rippling pounds and Hyde’s acoustic picks counteract each other for the truth of what the band is trying to say: everything we feel is always in conflict.


The album closes with “Big Brown Eyes,” a gripping indie-rock song that explores Handford’s want for love, security, and a brighter future. Similar to the famous indie rock styles of bands like The Backseat Lovers, Spilt Milk Society incorporates these heavy guitar rhythms and beat-to-beat drum lines to not only emphasize the chorus, but display the growth the band has experienced. No, there is no guarantee that the past will ever return. As the twelve songs proved we will never be able to gain back the songs lost to love, self ignorance, or naive thoughts on the world around us. Instead. Spilt Milk Society urges us, hopefully that is, to take all that we’re forcibly exposed to, and transform it into something beautiful anyways.