Carmanah: Every Little Bit Counts
Based out of Victoria, BC, environmentally conscious Carmanah offers a blended sound that lies somewhere among roots, rock and blues. Renown producer, Gus Van Go—known for working with The Arkells and Sam Roberts Band—coined the term “West Coast Soul” to describe Carmanah’s unique sound.
Their first album, Speak in Rhythms, was released in February 2018 and produced two #1 CBC Music tracks, including Carmanah’s Blundstone Playlist contribution, Roots. With fans across the country, Carmanah has quite the performance roster, but also had their emotive music featured on film soundtracks and TV shows such as CBC’s Heartland, Showcases’ Lost Girl and CityTV’s Hudson & Rex.
Their band name originates from a Provincial Park on Vancouver Island – The Carmanah Valley. This park is known for its ancient old-growth forest that has never been logged. Here, some of the largest Sitka Spruce trees in the world have been growing for thousands of years. In the late 1980s, many activists successfully gathered to protect the forest from logging interests and keep the land as it is today. Carmanah shares, “It’s a name that we carry humbly as we learn more about the area, the people who fought to protect it and the original stewards of that land.”
Using their platform for good, Carmanah are ambassadors for The Jellyfish Project, a campaign that uses musicians to educate high school students about environmental issues, and have delivered the presentation to over 100 schools ranging from Vancouver Island to Windsor, ON. With the environmental crisis at the forefront of their minds and music, Carmanah practices what they believe by lessening their ecological footprint by fueling their tour vehicle with used vegetable oil donated to them by restaurants along the way.
While many of the band members have been Blundstone fans for years, lead-singer Laura Mina Mitic is finally getting her first pair. “With a ridiculously narrow foot, shoe shopping can be a challenge for me,” Laura said. “This will be my first pair of Blundstone [boots] and so far they feel so good, even on my narrow and picky feet.” She shared that the band is constantly adventuring when on the road, from long walks or hikes, or just getting from point A to point B. “I’m sure our [boots] will be joining us on many of our summer travels.”
Their single, Roots, is about being homesick on the road, a fact of life for musicians everywhere. Close your eyes and let Carmanah transport you with their soulful sound, and with their most recent album ‘Iris’ released on October 2, 2020, we can’t wait to see where Carmanah goes. Every little bit counts where Carmanah is concerned. Head over to the Blundstone Playlist Volume 4 and listen now.