Never one to shy away from speaking her mind, Laura Mina Mitic will always be the last one to tell you about herself. Instead you’ll hear about music, band mates, politics, touring and a deep reverence for humanity and the earth. You’ll hear the same on Carmanah’s first national release ‘Speak In Rhythms’, a modern eleven-song album that overflows with emotion, afterhours cool, groove and tantalizing hints of gritty vintage flavours that influence it’s modern sound.
It was during the six-week sessions that made up the bulk of the recording at Vancouver’s Warehouse Studios that producer Gus Van Go coined the band’s sound ‘West Coast Soul’. Having produced The Arkells, Sam Roberts, Fast Romantics, Wintersleep, Whitehorse and more, Gus along with co-producer Werner F set about showcasing Laura’s soulful lead vocals with a complement of strong harmonies, rich acoustic layers, multiple lead instrumentation all powered by a deft and driving rhythm. The result is a soundtrack that shimmers, dark and brooding at times and shining boldly in others, with lyrics that rival many of the great songwriters of our generation.
The story of the band has never been about commercial success or hurried compromise. Instead, the human condition stands as an enduring theme, Laura’s writing a reminder of global issues and the current political climate. Poignant lines from the album reveal this: ‘Hunt and gather/ in a frozen desert./ Bless my heart and curse your soul./ Standing smitten/ by a burning bridge/ the river fled long ago’. There is also much in this album that celebrates love and connection: ‘Oo, if I go I/ know you’ll join me/ and point out routes along the way./ Oo, if you fall I will/ lay down beside you/ and we can trace the Milky Way’. Always thought provoking, Laura’s imagery evokes a gentle and calming mood that is often easily lost in a frenetic modern world. At home on Vancouver Island, Laura and the band have built a large and enthused fanbase, selling out bigger venues and opening stages for international acts like Ziggy Marley, Clinton Fearon, K.D. Lang, Moby and Shakey Graves. Off the island, on their travels both near and far, and consistent with their values, the band lessens their ecological footprint by fuelling their tour vehicle with used vegetable oil procured from restaurants along the way.
Laura might be the last person to talk about herself, but increasingly others are doing so without hesitation. Carmanah was mentioned as a “BC musician to watch out for” by Vancouver’s Daily Hive. The Zone 91.3’s Jon Williams has called her, “the Stevie Nicks of our generation.” Times-Colonist reviewer Mike Devlin touted her opening act for K.D. Lang as a, “solid six-song set highlighted by some impressive vocal runs and nifty acoustic guitar work.” So, when presented with the opportunity, join in and be part of the experience. This is the beginning of a long journey, one that seeks to create a soundtrack for a new listener. This is
music, this is love. “All is dark where there was once daylight, like politics I lose my appetite And everything I thought was right is as bright as night is light
I am like a boat out on the waves if waves are what you call a torn landscape And everything I did for fun was as soothing as a gun in my hands You deserve more. You deserve more.”