Montreal-based indie duo Maica Mia launched its debut album, Sparcity Blues, at Casa Del Popolo on Feb. 11—selling out before 10:30 p.m. “It’s really great to have it sold out,” said Maica, smiling. “There were around 150 people there and in the end we even had to turn people around because the place was full!”
The popularity of their music is a direct reflection of their ability to have their music reach inside of you. Concordia linguistics student Maica Mia, who is the guitarist and lead vocalist of the duo, and boyfriend Jonny Paradise, wailing on drums and keys, produce a very smooth and emotional kind of music that gets to you whether you want it or not.
The duo spend most of their time recording new songs and jamming with other musicians in the gigantic studio they share, where you can find a multitude of musical instruments and a few couches. Cardboard animals are also lying around, remains of handmade decor.
The pair met around five years ago at a Halloween party at which they were both performing. They then started playing together in different bands for the next five years until they realized that their style was compatible and that everything seemed much easier when they played together. That’s when they decided to start a project together. Though Paradise said they never actually came up with a name, Maica explained,
“Mia in Italian means ‘mine,’ so I guess we could interpret it like ‘My Maica’, mine, she’s my singer, talking about Jonny.”
When you listen to Sparcity Blues, it’s like you’re floating in space, as the duo puts it.
“We both write, and we take our inspiration from life experiences, from emotions, like anger, and let it out,” said Jonny.
“I often write from moments of silence, or from sounds,” said Maica. “When I hear the sound of the snow crushing under my boots, or the sound of the rain, it triggers sentiments and emotions and that’s how we come up with songs.”
The tracks on Sparcity Blues were mostly written a few years ago, and the release of this album is a way for Maica to grow up and move on from her younger self.
“This album represents the closing of a chapter for me,” she said. “Most of them are old songs that I wanted to eject into the world in order to get on with new things. Some songs were from my teenage years, and now that they are out, I can really focus on our duo project.”
Relentless in their craft, the duo has started recording another album, which they hope will be out by the end of 2012. They describe it as being a progression of their first album, growing and evolving.
Already receiving acclaim from the Montreal music community, Sparcity Blues was proclaimed “Album of the Week” in The Montreal Mirror on Feb. 9, 2012 and it’s available on vinyl for $18, but it can also be downloaded for free or for a donation of your choice.
“We wanted to make a vinyl copy because we thought it was just so fun to have,” Maica said. “All these people that listen to old records and are real music fans have a record player, so those who will really like our music will buy it. We also made it available for free because we want it to grow and expand as a project, and make it possible for everyone to listen to it and have it.”
Constantly seeking to grow and expand, Maica Mia is in the process of organizing its U.S. and Canada summer tour. They take on Toronto and New York City next and will be playing the Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival (Sounds for the People) in Montreal in June.
To download Maica Mia’s new album visit their bandcamp: http://maicamia.bandcamp.com