Victoria’s Miina, a new roots, rock and soul musical project from the members of celebrated five-piece band Carmanah, release their debut EP Slow Motion on Aug. 14.
Frontwoman Laura Mina Mitic is joined by past Carmanah bandmates Pat Ferguson, Lo Waight, Graham Keehn and Jamil Demers. The band had played together for more than a decade – seeing success like Nightmare hitting No. 1 on CBC Music Top 20 list – and played their last show as Carmanah to a sold-out crowd on May 20.
“We realized that Carmanah had been active and had a wonderful 10-plus years of being a band, building that name, but during the pandemic, we had some time to be still and get creative together and the sound just took on a different feeling. We realized it was really exciting for us the idea of starting something fresh and reintroducing ourselves to our audiences and potentially new audiences as well,” Mitic said.
Miina has Carmanah parallels but the music is created more collaboratively and conveys a groovier, more mature, feminine and less folky sound – Mitic describes it as “the little sister who grew up, got feisty and uncovered where she’s meant to be.”
The first single, Pressure, was released June 27 with a music video and has the vocals of Mitic popping over bluesy guitar riffs with the lines “I took a zig and a zag and things got ugly, lived for the end of the day and it consumed me.” The lyrics reflect a change of perspective after Mitic’s near-death experience.
“I had a very close call in some river rapids and nearly drowned. It’s a cliche but it was a startling wake-up call – Hey! – life is short. Time does fly. I don’t want to live my short and invaluable life fearing change or pushing love away. I made a few changes in my life after this experience: I started listening to my gut a little more, I tore down a few of the walls that had been slowly stacking up around me, I made amends with my scars, I welcomed boldness back into my life, I reflected… and I wrote this song.”
Their second single, Hiccup, was released Aug. 8.
Transformation, an overall encouraging tone of contentedness and listening to one’s intuition are themes throughout the six-song EP, produced by Gus Van Go.
Out of the five core members of the band, two are couples, which Mitic said makes collaborating all the more fun.
“Pat and I, we’ve been in a relationship for a few years, we started Carmanah together, and then Graham, who’s our drummer, and Lo, who’s our backup singer and keyboardist, they’re engaged and they’re getting married in September. I would say that we’re all close, there’s a really nice vibe, relationship, friendship that really goes into our creative process as well. We just have fun together which is awesome. There’s a nice family vibe that we get to enjoy while we’re on the road, too.”
As for their goals, Mitic said they’d love to see the band get more national attention, using their past success with Carmanah as a diving board. The band is working on being more present in music epicentre Toronto while still staying true to their roots.
“We’ve been dreaming big with this one,” Mitic said.
Miina is set to play the Jasper Folk Music Festival on Sept. 8 and Rifflandia Music Festival in Victoria on Sept. 17.
The new EP can be found at miina.band.