Following their debut release Speak in Rhythms this past winter, Carmanah has charmed the country with their ‘West Coast Soul’ style. They perform at Bo’s on Nov. 22nd.                                photo submitted

Following their debut release Speak in Rhythms this past winter, Carmanah has charmed the country with their ‘West Coast Soul’ style. They perform at Bo’s on Nov. 22nd. photo submitted

Carmanah heading to the City on the heels of their latest single Nightmare

Victoria band performs at Bo’s on Nov. 22nd along with Hey Ocean

Victoria band Carmanah is heading to the City next month on the heels of their latest single release Nightmare.

They’re hitting the road with Hey Ocean, performing at Bo’s on Nov. 22nd.

Following their debut release Speak in Rhythms this past winter, Carmanah charmed the country with their ‘West Coast Soul’ style and have skyrocketed up the Canadian charts.

“I think that over the past couple of years working with the band and a couple of other musicians, that we have learned a lot,” said Lead Singer Laura Mina Mitic. “So I think with this album – first and foremost – I wanted to show just how much we had grown, matured and changed,” she said, referring to a couple of previous EPs the band had self-produced and released before.

“As a result, the songs were all written over a number of years. They are a collection of some of our best, some of the songwriting that I was the proudest of and some of the songs our producers (Gus Van Go and Werner F) had selected as well.

“So it was like finally we got to showcase what we have here, what our project is all about, and to kind of put it up on that pedestal and invest in a finished project that we can be really proud to share with new fans and with the old fans we’ve collected over the years as well, too.”

Ultimately, few have crafted an album quite this unique, and resistant to any kind of strict categorization.

“We learned a lot, and I think that with the next album, we will take a lot of those lessons with us. We’ll spend the time reflecting and make sure that the experience enables us to be as creative as we possibly can the next time around.”

Roots kicks things off with a gentle, shimmering pop feel that’s pretty infectious (it landed in the number one spot on the CBC Music Top 20 chart).

Then things take an abrupt turn with the dramatic, sweeping tones of Crying.

The aforementioned Nightmares, another simmering sonic gem, is climbing up the radio charts as well. No matter the demands of any given song, Mina Mitic’s voice finds its way beautifully (witness the gently romantic sensibilities of Candlesticks) and the rhythmic joys of Send it to Me.

Mina Mitic said music has also been a part of her life for as long as she can recall, with her dad playing both guitar and banjo.

“I think a big part of why I play is because there was always a guitar or a harmonica or percussion instruments or a piano there for me to kind of sink my teeth into when I wanted to,” she explained. As for her voice, she wasn’t trained professionally but simply started singing around the house.

“I started singing along with my dad’s Roy Orbison albums, as loud as I could. At first, it made everybody laugh so at first I think I just enjoyed making people smile,” she added with a laugh.

“But I really started enjoying it myself, too,” she said, adding that she started singing more in high school and signed on with a couple of bands during those years, too. “And that’s when I realized that songwriting was a lot of fun also.

“I think it was in high school that I realized how much I enjoyed playing with other people,” she said. “Before that, I’d been learning the classical violin and that’s kind of a more solo approach to music.

“But when I started playing in bands, that’s when I realized how much I loved sharing the stage with people, and creating with other people.”

Ultimately, there’s much to be excited about as the future unfolds – Carmanah was mentioned as a ‘B.C. musician to watch out for’ by Vancouver’s Daily Hive. For Mina Mitic, the joy of it flows from the magic of collaboration as well.

“I think that a big part of what I love about this project is that I really love my bandmates – we get along 99.9 per cent of the time,” she said. “I think being on the road definitely has its challenges, but if you are with people you like then it’s that much easier.”

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