Ethereal and exuberant – these two qualities walk hand in hand by the delightfully melodic musings of Carmanah. The name, borrowed from an ancient Vancouver Island rainforest, hints at the band’s ethics. They request no-plastic riders for their shows, their tour van’s fueled by used vegetable oil from local restaurants, while their music is powered by passion for sparking dialogue, rather than an argument, about our relationship with Earth – a dialogue. It’s a perfect use of beautiful songs, with nary a proselytizing moment rising over the misty West Coast horizon.
Their slightly vintage sound captures a longing for something not named nor touched; crisp production, sometimes spare, sometimes fattened on rhythms, horns and backing vocals, soothes that longing. Songwriter and vocalist Laura Mina Mitic creates songs out of revered island air, then coaxes them to her bandmates for touches and tightening. Her flowing Feisty vocals are the anchor; her reverence the ballast.
But it’s not all sweet sailing – her reflections on love lost and found and those moments between both while between the sheets keep it real, so real that a couple of songs from the album hit number one on the CBC’s Top Twenty, bespeaking a genuineness that resonates.