Mittens started in 2009 as a duo featuring longtime friends Lia Dearborn and Ramona McCarthy, eventually joined by guitarist Paul Ryu and drummer Tyler Shimkus.
...by San Diego "Cat Pop" band Mittens
After making their live debut as a quartet in May 2012, the group spent several years playing gigs before recording an album, and not all those appearances went well. Ryu recalls “We played a show at Bar Eleven [now the Hideout] that was likely our worst. We were out of practice since there were a lot of big life events going on at the time. To add to that, we had been fooling around with the intro and first verse to ‘Uncontrollable Urge’ by Devo in practice, and we half-joked that we should play that live. Once we were onstage, we launched into the song spontaneously, and then we remembered that we didn’t know any of the lyrics, and we didn’t really know how to end the song either. That was at the end of our set, too, so the set just kind of petered out, and we just laughed ourselves off the stage.
“Luckily, there were very few people at that show, and we still had fun.”
Calling their music “cat pop,” the group recently recorded their debut full-length, sporting a cover and illustrated lyric booklet designed by Dearborn. “The album is a 100 percent DIY effort from start to finish, with Paul as the engineer,” according to Dearborn. “We applied everything we learned over the years to this project, and it means a lot to us that we were able to complete it on our terms, on our own, without external input.”
- Saturday, March 26, 2016, 8 p.m.
3829 30th Street,
The self-titled album will premiere March 26 at Bar Pink. “A good fraction of our live set will be songs from the album, but there will be many newer songs that are not on the album. Honestly, we feel that releasing the album is kind of our way of saying goodbye, at least temporarily, to many of our older songs, some of which we’ve been playing for almost four years now....
“We started out with Ramona and Lia trading guitar and bass duties nearly half and half, but Ramona has trended almost entirely to guitar, and Lia to bass, and so older songs in the reverse arrangement are a bit tricky for us to rehearse and play these days.”