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Mittens on Strings

Mittens on Strings is a band from Kentuckiana (a region along the Ohio river which is the border between Indiana and Kentucky). It began when some high school friends started learning to play instruments and immediately decided to have a band before they knew how to use these instruments properly. Then a couple of "real" musicians were like, "hey this is pretty OK." So they joined too and the Mittens were formed. People seem to want to join the band all the time, and somebody's friend or brother is always in, even if only for a short time. Mittens on Strings is a collaborative effort where everyone writes the songs and nearly everyone sings. This is explained in detail in the following band schematic. The sound ends up being distinctive and varied. Smooth melodies erupt with a folky quality, and a drone is often hanging around that has a touch of darkness in it. Male and female vocals complement each other in a common Kentuckiana porch/mall type fashion.


Pushing Buttons 7" EP
(Pickled Egg Records, Egg 46)

Long overdue (OK, very long overdue) debut vinyl release from the Kentucky based collaborative ensemble. Their sound has been likened to the so-called ’Love Rock’ scene (Beat Happening, et al), which emerged out of Olympia, Washington in the late 80’s – minimalist, wide-eyed and defiantly lo-fi. Melodic pop mixes with darker folk textures. Vocals display a bare, emotional content, the music is always simple, yet contains subtle accents.

"More fine and dandy - or should that be dainty? - life-affirming pop from the Pickled Egg factory of musical dreams, comes courtesy of Indiana / Kentucky ensemble Mittens on Strings. Limited to just 300 pressings – so skates on now pop kids because this is quite gem like. ‘Pushing Buttons’ features four cutely crafted cuts of gently ambling folky pop that opens with the brittle melancholic strains of the Red House Painters-like ‘La talking box’. Borne of a lilting melody that prickles and picks deep into the rich heritage of heart warming song writing it deceives with its soft and nimble surface structure that’s cast with a soured underpin to give it an absorbing bitter sweet affliction to make most swoon. Then there’s the wonky wheels almost falling off country tinged ‘Party’ which features much to our joy a didgeridoo [more likely, a jew's harp - Ed] - a fact alone that ensures our seal of approval apart from the small detail that its an ear candy lesson of sorts in the intricacies of shuffle like drifting soft pop. Elsewhere there’s the strangely skewiff and admittedly best track here ‘Down Payment’ which after periods of confused uncertainty (just check out bits where it seems like the players have just been introduced to their instruments for the first time) suddenly as though the clouds have cleared pops its head up and magically turns everything on its head for a brief celebratory instant recalling for a second Mary Hopkins of all people, not that that is a bad thing, no siree. Rounding up the set with ‘It fell to me’ which at times is very Leonard Cohen on prozac with subtle shades of Dylan mooching in the shadows albeit detouring from the highway to find a tranquil spot in bluegrass country to idle away the late afternoon sipping home made lemonade while rocking gentle on the porch. Damn good we say" [Mark Barton, Losing Today]

'It Fell to Me' (MP3)
'Party' (MP3)
'Down Payment' (MP3)

UK: £3.00

EU: €5.00

US: $7.00


Losing Today
indiepop.it (in Italian)


Mittens on Strings Home Page

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