Mitten
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Mitten

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States
Pop Synth

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Want to work your way into the hearts of the Brooklyn-based duo Mitten at this year’s Phasefest? Let me give you two bits of advice: greet them with a bourbon, and don’t ask where the name Mitten came from.

You’ll get a chance to flatter Maia and Joanna when they perform their “energetic” set on Friday night of the festival. This show comes at the end of a very busy spring and summer that’s taken the pair all around the Northeast. They did a short tour with The Blow in New England and another with Allison Weiss in the Southeast. Then there were the various solo shows across New York and gigs with Heliotrope, Chris Pureka, Hunter Valentine (who will be at Phasefest on Saturday) and several others. So that claim to “energetic” is totally believable.

On top of all the touring, Mitten is grinding away in the studio, working on their debut full-length album. For all of us who’ve been playing the six (awesome) tracks of See You Bye over and over, the idea of a full length album is tantalizing. I’m not the only one excited about the big debut: MTV, Out Magazine, The Ruckus and then some have praised the pair in reviews. Not to mention they were included in NPR’s guide to the CMJ music festival last January. They’ve opened for Tayisha Busay, J D Samson/MEN, The Shondes, and DEVO.

Even though all of these professional musicians and music buffs are fans of Mitten, they’re still very grounded. They said it best themselves: “Success has many definitions.” Maia and Joanna are happy to know that so many people like what they do, but they make the music for themselves first. That authenticity keeps their sound original and fresh.

Mitten are not the singing-screaming type. Even though the beats and lyrics are mostly fast, their voices are quiet and calm. Mixing the two makes fun music that will keep you on your feet. The first track, “All That I’ve Got”, opens with a heavy synth-pop beat, and in the second track on See You Bye, “Cavalcade”, they sing in an almost Bon Iver-ethereal way. Throughout the next four tracks, they bring in acoustic touches, more excellent pop beats, and a few moments of killer harmony.

I can’t finish talking about the album without mentioning the lyrics. They’re witty and familiar, like in “You’re the Runner”: “balanced out, you’re much better/ more jealous than I ever let on/ the people you meet, strangers jump right off their feet/ you know I still have the key to your door/ what’s more, I knew what was in there before”.

Of the six tracks “Similar Sense” is my favorite. The song goes back and forth from heavy on the chorus to light on the verses, keeping up the beat all the way through. It won me over through the lyrics too:

It makes me wonder how long I can last here
It makes me wonder if this is my last year around

Later in the same song:

You know how much I wanna feel this now but it’s a waste for
You know I don’t average out as much as I’d like
So I’m here another day, collecting my things to wade through
Though I did not anticipate you

Come on, show me a twenty-something who won’t connect to that.

Mitten’s style came around organically, and it’s easy to tell that they put their heart into their sound. You can listen to their songs on their website and become a member of their secret club (aka, sign up for the mailing list), so you’ll know when the new album comes out. Check them out and don’t miss their set on Friday! - Wherethegirlsgo.com


The best of the best… so far. My list ordering is always fast and loose so don’t sweat the numbers too much. For more on any of these artists use the tags links at the bottom of the post. Read on and rock out!

25 – ? Baby Monster – Mr. Success / These guys snuck in with a jam that just kept getting better with each listen. Oooooh ooooo ooooo!

24 – ? The Weeknd – House Of Balloons/Glass Table Girls / Dark, dirty, and not for public consumption. But damn if I can’t get enough.

23 – ? Motopony – King of Diamonds / Should be higher up on the list but with another Motopony track below I am basically sneaking this track in. An amazing song.

22 – ? Vacationer – Trip / A love song written by sunsets for eastern facing waterfalls and delivered by toucans.

21 – ? Wildlife – Stand in the Water / An epic start to an epic album. Hairs on the back of the neck every time. I can’t stay seated!

20 – ? James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream / A perfect moment to sit back down. Talk about a grower. If you haven’t got into this track yet then kill the lights, turn the volume up big, close your eyes, and just listen.

19 – ? Butcher Blades/ – The Swan Machine / If tropical were a college course then these dudes would be mentoring the senior thesis kids. So epic. Can someone shoot a throwback spy hero fight scene on a beach to this jam already?

18 – ? The-Dream – F**k My Brains Out / The-Dream dropped this with a siamese twin track “Body Work” but it was the heavy breathing, MJ channeling latter half that really lit my fire. I broke it off solo just for this post!

17 – ? Pompeya – Untitled / From Russia with bassline.

16 – ? Theme Park – Milk / Finally, a cure for all those lactose intolerant posers. 8oz of this a day will cure what ails you.

15 – ? Walk The Moon – Anna Sun / Also one of the best live shows I’ve seen this year. And best videos. Damn, how the hell have I not got this album yet?Remedied….. now.

14 – ? Generationals – Ten-Twenty-Ten / These guys have landed a jam in a Best Of list every year so far so it’s no surprise they have done it again. And could “doing it again” be any more fun than this?

13 – ? Brasstronaut – Hearts Trompet / Not much out there as elegant and beautiful as this track. And then it all breaks and builds into a whole new epic being.

12 – ? Jack Littman – Sinking Ship / All pulsing and thumping and fantastic. Fits under a summer moon as much as a winter one.

11 – ? Purity Ring – Ungirthed / Creepy and swollen in all the right places. Plus, 10 out of 10 J Riches agree, this is an epic jam.

10 – ? Britney Spears – Till The World Ends / Haters will hate. The rest of us will be having the party of our lives. Gotta love that instantly sing-along-able hook!

9 – ? Punches – Sleepless City / Possibly best horns/piano/drum-machine combo of the year? Beautiful and danceable all at once.

8 – ? When Saints Go Machine – Kelly / That bass thump just hits so good. And I can’t think of better vocals go along with this funky jam.

7 – ? Things I Never Told You – Happiness / Throwback sex disco pop at it’s finest.

6 – ? Mitten – All That I’ve Got / Distorted intro is deceptive as soon the beautiful pop goodness is smeared all over your ears. Smooth and sweet and somehow fluffy too.

5 – ? Frank Ocean – Swim Good / The smoothest member of OFWGKTA delivers on all his crew’s hype in one song. At least as far as I’m concerned.

4 – ? Joywave – Golden State / The song uses the traditional rock forumla of guitar, bass, and drums, but I can’t remember the last time that mix cooked up such an epic show stopper like this. Must be like what hearing U2 in the 80s felt like.

3 – ? Patrick Wolf – The City / Huge. Just huge. Plus touching, infectious, and gorgeous.

2 – ? The Botaniks – Fond of Jane ft. Bernhoft / Up. Down. Left and right. This one’s got it covered on all corners of planet funk. And Bernhoft’s soraing vocals are rivaled only by The Botaniks’ impeccable production. Woooo-eee.

1 – ? Motopony – Wait For Me / This song leaves me speechless. - The Burning Ear


Brooklyn-based duo Joanna Katcher (right) and Maia Macdonald (left) -- aka Mitten -- wrote the songs on their debut EP, See You Bye, via email. Katcher would send Macdonald a bit of music and a few hours later she'd send the vocals back. The two continued this way until they had built enough shimmering electro-folky songs to put out the EP and begin playing around NYC in earnest (along with percussionist Ryan Fitch in tow) and now they're storming the city's indie music scene.

We caught up with Mitten to chat about how they got their curious name, being queer musicians, and more.

After our interview, Katcher and Macdonald stuck around to play us an acoustic version of their song "Cavalcade".

For more on Mitten, including the opportunity to buy See You Bye and find out when you can next catch them on stage, head to their official website and follow them on Twitter.

-- NOAH MICHELSON - Out Magazine


Meet Joanna Katcher and Maia MacDonald, a Brooklyn based duo who make music, drink whiskey, and hang out with kittens. As emerging supergroup Mitten, they have harnessed the glittery power of '80s New Wave and injected it with just enough indie pop to keep things current. We think Bananarama would be proud.

If you had to compare them to any other band, you could say that Mitten's brand of electro-indie pop is sort of a Tegan and Sara meets Imogen Heap garden of delights, but there really isn't any need to do that. Apt though it may be, the comparison is completely unnecessary; Mitten's wagon is hitched to its very own star. Complete with fervent, lush melodies, clever lyrics and expertly wielded instrumentation, their EP, See You Bye, is an absolutely brilliant debut.

Have a listen to the brightly wound "Cavalcade," then download it for yourself via the link below:

Who are Mitten, and how did the band come to be? Related: How did you pick the name Mitten? It's awesome.

J - Mitten is Maia and me. When we play live, we have our amazing drummer Ryan Fitch with us. Maia and I danced around wanting to work on music together for a while, everyone (I) was too nervous to show what they had done, but finally I sent something to Maia and within approximately 30 minutes, she had written and recorded lyrics over it which were awesome (shocking). I was like "oh really? We could have been working on music this entire time but I was too nervous to send you my stupid 1:50 'song' I wrote a year ago? Nice one." We owe the name Mitten to our friend Emily who always referred to her cats as "the mittens" - it just turned into this thing we were all saying a bunch so we stuck with it. But just one. Just one Mitten.

Okay - your band are the main characters in a mid-1980s to early 1990s television show. Is it a drama, a sitcom or a cartoon, and what's the plot?

J - Drama. Dark. There's a struggle. And then we realize we didn't hate each other at all... we were really sisters ALL ALONG. It's obviously animated.

M - We are middle-schoolers growing up in Brooklyn. We spend most of our days with a ghost - who writes to us.

What is the daily process of being a band like for you guys in terms of balancing the creative work with the business stuff?

Pretty much all we want to do is write music and pretend like we don't have to do any of the business stuff (or our day jobs...). HOWEVER... we definitely do and it's awesome but it's also like we each have another full time job. We are in constant communication all day trying to make sure we have everything covered. But usually in the middle of balancing a bunch of different business things we'll decide it's the perfect time to start on a new song which then makes it impossible to focus on anything else.

What is your favorite song to perform live, and why?

We have a new unnamed one that we love to play (we've only played it live once but it changed our lives. Kidding. Kind of). Part of it is that it's new and part of it is that the song came together in a couple hours and resonates a bunch with us.

What's on your playlist right now?

J - Foster the People, Faded Paper Figures, Phantogram, Bodega Girls, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, The Postal Service

M - Sarah Kirkland Snider & Shara Worden, Junip, Bonobo, Robyn, Kurt Vile, Joanna Newsom

Where is your favorite place to hang out in Brooklyn?

J - Swimming and/or frolicking in the Gowanus Canal

M - Greenwood Cemetery, backyard bars

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

J - My fam & friends & Jimmy Tamborello

M - Many of my hardworking musician friends

Tell us about your songwriting process.

J - We do pretty much everything via email. Even when we were both living in Brooklyn at the same time, we still wrote separately. I'll put together an instrumental idea and send it to Maia, who then comes up with some lyrical genius and sends it back to me. From there I work on flushing out the instrumental part and Maia keeps inventing new lyrics and ideas and we keep shooting the song back and forth until we feel like it's done.

M - What Joanna said. Outside of Mitten I'm a singer-songwriter and a drummer, with a much different process for writing and performing. Writing with Joanna in this particular way is a very fun and new thing for me. I find each step of creating our songs really exciting and refreshing.

What is the best part about what you do? The worst?

J - The best part is the moment when Maia and I make something that feels really right to us and we both love it immediately and we know it. The worst part is working with Maia - we don't really get along or see eye-to-eye on anything. It's a daily struggle. I really like the striped hoodies she wears though!

M - Writing songs is the best! I also really enjoy watching Ryan drum like Animal from The Muppets out of the corner of my eye when we're on stage. Hanging out with Joanna all the time is the worst!

If you c - The Ruckus


We want you to please consider for a moment just how long it takes you to decide on whether you like a band or not? Do you only need one song? Perhaps you only take a few bars of a song? Perhaps it’s just their look, with the way they dress or their overall aesthetic? Perhaps you go the opposite way and have to hear a whole album before concluding? Maybe you need to hear a song over and over repeatedly prior to making a final judgement?

It’s a tough thing to know what the right thing to do is, as it’s so subjective and down to the individual. Is there anything wrong with making your mind up rapidly? Perhaps you’re very knowledgeable about music and consider a million aspects of what you are hearing in a second, before deciding you love it a moment later? On the flip side, is there anything wrong with taking your time, choosing to properly take in a whole piece of work before you conclude?

Our guess is that people are quite instinctive about it and don’t take that long to decide. You don’t wait to digest your entire dinner before deciding if it tastes nice do you – staring down at the pan and finally announcing to yourself that it was in fact a particularly enjoyable meal. You make lots of decisions about the new people you meet pretty rapidly, don’t you? We’re not suggesting you’re some cruel, judgemental nutter or anything, but you can’t help but have first, second or even lasting impressions from spending a few minutes in the company of a stranger.

We all have subconscious tick lists that fire off at speed upon the first experience – it’s what makes us human. Admittedly those initial reactions can soften or harden, as you learn more, but on the whole you know whether you will like something from the outset. Anyone that says otherwise is perhaps fighting their natural inclination, which is also fair enough, but there’s no denying you had an initial reaction.

The reason we bring up this talking point is that you might make your mind up about Mitten quite quickly, but because their music has a variety of shades, we think you opinion will shift, depending on which track you hear first. We’re not suggesting that Maia Macdonald and Joanna Katcher’s creations wave from thrash metal to sugary pop, but they definitely produce songs with varying pace and punch. Even when you look at each song individually the start often doesn’t match the finish. However, we’re pleased to conclude – after we’d had time to digest the whole of their available catalogue – that we enjoyed almost every element of their music.

On the one hand the female duo from Brooklyn produce energetic, upbeat pop, that smoothly races along like water on marble. Take the tune Similar Senses, the fourth song on the six-track EP that arrived a couple of weeks ago, and you experience a song that starts with a skipping pace that holds throughout, only breaking on occasion and certainly not for long enough for you to get your breath back. It drives along, meeting up briefly for a kissed chorus, feeling like a peck on the cheek, rather than any lingering moment. It reminds us of A-Ha’s Take On Me – although fronted by Ladyhawke – but lacks those same killer pop riffs.

Your initial conclusions will be arrested when you get to the track Cavalcade or 742, which are far slower, aiming at your emotional buttons, rather than your feet, but it’s just as endearing. The pop is still there with their enjoyable vocals, but it’s more patient and intelligent, building in layers and diving into deeper ends of their musical pool. Solitary Moves also begins with the same pretty harmonics, showing them at their most sedimentary, but it eventually steps up, creeping into your head like a dream about Underworld’s Juanita.

The feet are undoubtedly in focus with the EP’s opener, All That I’ve Got, as it meets you with a slapping, electronic, crunch of a riff, that would have you thinking this is going to be a heavy piece of work, but it quickly opens up to a more ambrosial pop tune. It’s them at their best, marrying their ability to get you dancing, whilst still finding depths and beauty in the edges of the pop spectrum. It’s satisfyingly full and rounded, and whether you like to take your time before deciding on a band or not, this tune and it’s ability to have you humming it long after it’s finished will surely find you making a positive conclusion. (MB) - The Recommender


The Brooklyn/Boston girl/girl duo of Mitten played their first show less than 5 months ago but have clearly not been slouching as they have more than that many solid gems on their debut EP, See You Bye. “All That I’ve Got” kicks off the set and immediately introduces us to their heart-on-sleeve brand of synthy groove-pop that has been infecting my ears these past few weeks. Bouncy, light, and highly danceable, it’s impossible not get into this twinkling star of a jam.

? Mitten – Similar Sense

The whole EP is impressive stuff, with “Cavalcade” and “742? slowing things down a bit for some beautifully delicate moments and “Similar Sense,” “Solitary Moves,” and “You’re The Runner” kicking the funk back in for more dizzying dance goodness. See You Bye is out now and a perfect addition to anyones “Bedroom Dance Party” playlist. - The Burning Ear


And on the day you rise way too early after a late night, there shall be the perfect music to soothe and comfort your raging sense of the injustice of it all. The Brooklyn angels of Mitten know exactly what needs to be done to shake off the jitters: a bit of the tap of the foot and a tad of the dancing naked in your room. The music they make constitutes giant jello pools, full of wonderful flavors and textures. And there’s room for it in your ears, no matter what may have happened the night before. Their debut EP, See You Bye, is a wonderful whirl/blur of hair and hoodie strings, exemplifying what Indie Pop should be; fun, but with a deep lyricism behind it. The 6 song short player is full of highlights, with “Cavalcade” hitting me the hardest, right where my hearty hushed whisper of a conscience has been poring into for ages. And ”All I’ve Got” sets a rhythm into deep grooves, skipping and skidding along after a fading figure. The self recorded/produced/mixed See You Bye is a wonderful showcase from the trio in the city. Mitten makes music with one bare hand on their heart, and the other, defiant, in the night air. Give it a listen. - The Wounded Jukebox


Mitten, the electronic pop combo of Joanna Katcher & Maia Macdonald, are set to release their See You Bye EP on 1/28/11. The six-song set is an affecting introduction to the Brooklyn/Boston duo, whose tracks pair glowing guitar riffs with obscenely tight bass and synths; imagine Matt & Kim with loads of restraint and without Matt.

We are thrilled to share a stream of the EP’s lead single “All That I’ve Got”, and we’ve also got the brooding second track, “Cavalcade,” which features the ladies at their most subdued.

Catch Macdonald and Katcher at your favorite Northeastern haunts this winter and spring, along with live drummer Ryan Fitch. They’ll be hitting Bruar Falls in Brooklyn on 2/6 and Arlene’s Grocery on 3/5. - The Tale of The Tape


From the new submissions inbox, I stumbled across Mitten. First thought: Wow, we truly are running out of band names. Second thought: I could really use some solid mittens in this crazy cold of upstate New York right now. Third thought: What happened to the other mitten? Why the singular mitten? Fourth thought: Let’s give Mitten a try.

And so I did. From www.mynameismitten.com: “We are an indie pop band from Brooklyn. Maia and Joanna make music, drink whiskey, hang out with kittens.” Not really a lot to go on, but that is fine because we can let the music speak for itself.

Mitten, said Brooklyn duo of Maia and Joanna, makes music that is fleeting – but not in a bad way. The beats are electronic, simple, danceable. The vocals are very light, breathy, and slight, but they truly fit the band’s electro/acoustic sound. Mitten’s debut EP See You Bye drops digitally January 28 on their Bandcamp page.

The EP opens with the up-tempo electro-buzzing of “All That I’ve Got.” It is a fitting opener for an introduction to this band. It is strange to me, because I am normally the kind of person that won’t give an album the time of day if the opening track doesn’t immediately grab me. The track is solid, but it doesn’t bowl me over. The EP gains steam as it moves along.

“Calvacade,” the EP’s second track is stronger than the opener. It incorporates guitar to more fully flesh out the sound and it demonstrates the strong vocal harmonies of the duo. The EP really gets much more exciting as it moves along. The final three songs are the strongest with the closer, “You’re the Runner,” definitely ranking as my favorite. It features a damn fine driving beat, the aforementioned guitars, and a fantastic crescendo on the chorus that serves as the highlight of the EP.

With a goofy, nondescript name, it is safe to say that expectations for Mitten were low. I should know by now that you shouldn’t judge a band by its name. Mitten demonstrates this. At just over 19 minutes long, it is breezy, inviting introduction to a group with a ton of potential. - Tympanogram


From the new submissions inbox, I stumbled across Mitten. First thought: Wow, we truly are running out of band names. Second thought: I could really use some solid mittens in this crazy cold of upstate New York right now. Third thought: What happened to the other mitten? Why the singular mitten? Fourth thought: Let’s give Mitten a try.

And so I did. From www.mynameismitten.com: “We are an indie pop band from Brooklyn. Maia and Joanna make music, drink whiskey, hang out with kittens.” Not really a lot to go on, but that is fine because we can let the music speak for itself.

Mitten, said Brooklyn duo of Maia and Joanna, makes music that is fleeting – but not in a bad way. The beats are electronic, simple, danceable. The vocals are very light, breathy, and slight, but they truly fit the band’s electro/acoustic sound. Mitten’s debut EP See You Bye drops digitally January 28 on their Bandcamp page.

The EP opens with the up-tempo electro-buzzing of “All That I’ve Got.” It is a fitting opener for an introduction to this band. It is strange to me, because I am normally the kind of person that won’t give an album the time of day if the opening track doesn’t immediately grab me. The track is solid, but it doesn’t bowl me over. The EP gains steam as it moves along.

“Calvacade,” the EP’s second track is stronger than the opener. It incorporates guitar to more fully flesh out the sound and it demonstrates the strong vocal harmonies of the duo. The EP really gets much more exciting as it moves along. The final three songs are the strongest with the closer, “You’re the Runner,” definitely ranking as my favorite. It features a damn fine driving beat, the aforementioned guitars, and a fantastic crescendo on the chorus that serves as the highlight of the EP.

With a goofy, nondescript name, it is safe to say that expectations for Mitten were low. I should know by now that you shouldn’t judge a band by its name. Mitten demonstrates this. At just over 19 minutes long, it is breezy, inviting introduction to a group with a ton of potential. - Tympanogram


i can't begin to explain how good brooklyn duo mitten is. they're still working on their debut ep, and it looks like their working realll hard. if you liked their other two tracks, "cavalcade" and "green" you will FOR SURE like "similar sense." it proves their versatility even more: it's up-tempo, the vocals are playful and gently bounce us around, the lyrics are meaningful for anyone who lives in this city, the melodic build takes you for a positive ride to the chorus and the percussion is interesting and innovative using more indie approaches with electronic influences that might make you think of aphex twin. i could keep going on and on! some other good news is that mitten is working on their live show - i can't wait for this - it's going to be glorious. the bad news is that this will probably be their last free track before they release their ep.

Mitten - Similar Sense (Download)

check out some more of their music on another youcantstopah post AND don't forget to become a fan on facebook. mitten is maia and joanna. they like things like kittens, whiskey, bicycles and oregon. they are love at first listen. - Youcantstopah


It’s been a while since the last Round Table “Makin’ It” prediction and, with Brooklyn-based Mitten, we’re bringing our 2010 predictions back in style. Mitten is made up of Joanna Katcher and Maia Macdonald, who formed the band after discovering a shared love for innovative percussion and unconventional melodies.

When they’re not making music, they’re probably drinking whiskey and/or hanging out with kittens.

That tri-fecta, alone, qualifies Mitten for inclusion on The Round Table’s hot list. The fact that Joanna and Maia make flipping awesome music is just icing on the cake. Seriously, listen to “Calvacade” and “Green” below and tell me I’m wrong. - The Round Table


I love musicians who refuse to limit themselves to the stereotypes of genres. Mitten is a female indie pop duo out of Brooklyn who have found a perfect balance of electronic and pop music. This first track “Similar Sense”, couldn’t help remind me of Phoenix.
Mitten - Similar Sense

After taking one listen, it’s not hard to see why they have been gaining enormous support from all corners of them internets. Mittens is currently recording an EP and has plans to release it later this year. - Ooh So Famous


A day in the snow, followed by blankets in front of the fire … a long drive in the early evening when the sun begins to dip behind the trees … these are the kinds of places where the music of Mitten can really work its magic. New Yorkers Joanna Katcher and Maia MacDonald worked together at an NYC radio station, and discovered that their love of percussive, shifting melodies (not unsimilar to Imogen Heap) made them simpatico. As Mitten, they create layered electro-pop—soft and complex. “Similar Sense” melds mewing guitars with percussive rhythms, bubbling synths and the cool, plain-sung vocals of MacDonald. All gossamer and bass, “Calvacade” gets the heart racing. The intensity may be muted here, but it’s still palpable. The duo gets cunning on “Green,” layering two vocal parts with panging guitars and the organic thump of drums. Elegant, subdued, intricate and unexpected, the music of Mitten casts a warm glow you’ll want to cuddle up to. - Ourstage


check it! up & coming female duo from brooklyn mitten (who isn’t an up & coming brooklyn duo these days??) are in the process of putting together their debut ep, & below you can check out a brand new & exclusive tune similar sense, an absolutely lovely & bleary but emotionally rich exhale. in addition, check out our favorite song from the duo, green, a fantastic and very promising potential-first-single, flowing & lush & reminiscent of swedish sister duo first aid kit. catch mitten at their website, & watch out for these two!

- Kickin The Peanuts


This week's Needle In The Haystack, Mitten, is based out of Brooklyn, and is currently working on a 6-song debut EP and a mini northeast tour. Their unique sound is very “elegant, subdued, intricate, and unexpected.” Learn more about their love of Brooklyn's music vibe, Riding bikes, and drum circles in Haiti.

How did Mitten come to be?
Maia and I, Joanna, met because we both worked at a radio station in NY. I was turning in my show to Maia every month who was the program director at the time. After months and months of exchanging cordial work emails with signatures like "best" and "have a great weekend", we finally met and started to hang out, talk about music, etc. About a two years later, I sent Maia an instrumental I had been working on. About 20 minutes later, she sent me the song back with her lyrics on top and we went from there. Also, we are so lucky to have Ryan playing the drums with us live - without Ryan there is no live show.

How does it feel to be MTV Music's Needle In The Haystack?
Pretty rad and really unexpected. It feels great to be included in the part of MTV that still focuses on music!

What is "Similar Sense" about?
M: The song is about finding the people and experiences you truly connect with. It was written as a memory of walking out on a pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn, feeling immobilized but in love with a city (in this case, New York) where everything is moving around you but you feel stuck for whatever reason. It's also about weighing your life at present versus your expectations, and sorting through all the things you've amassed during your time in a place.

What is your creative process like?
J: The way it's worked so far is that I'll email Maia an instrumental song idea, sometimes it's just :30, and she'll sit on it for a little while then send it back to me with a vocal idea on top. That usually takes it in a new direction and I'll work a little more on the instrumental based on the vox she just sent. Then we'll just start emailing back and forth from there, mixing and producing it along the way. We're definitely consistently inconsistent with the time it takes us to write music. "Green" took us about a year to totally finish, and "Cavalcade" came together within a week.

Brooklyn music scene likes/dislikes?
J: I'm not sure if I really have any dislikes. I am so excited about the vibe of the music coming out of Brooklyn right now, and there's so much of it. Everything feels a little bit like a throwback to the 80s in some capacity which I am way into.

M: Likes: I like that its an open playing field - and I like the overlap. It seems like everyone is connected to eachother in some way.

M: Dislikes: It's such a "thing". We recently played a gig and said we were from Brooklyn. After the show someone asked us if we were kidding.

When did you realize you wanted to be a singer?
M: I still don't really consider myself a singer, but I knew music needed to be at the forefront of everything since I was a little kid playing with reel to reel tape players and writing 3 note guitar songs.

What do you love about music?
J: A lot but what I love about Mitten is making music with Maia... It is so rare to meet someone who understands and loves music in the exact same way that you do.

M: Nothing else makes me feel this way.

Spare time activities?
M: Riding bikes, foodie projects, reading the first 3/4 of novels, playing racquetball by myself

J: Snowboarding, writing jams for my nephew

Most memorable music moment?
M: Haiti, 2003, drumming and singing for an entire day into the night.

J: Getting little gold casio from grandpa in 1983.

Top 5 music influences?
J: The Velvet Teen, Depeche Mode, The Postal Service, Cursive, Bjork, my sister's collection of new wave

M: Nick Drake, Bjork, Jorge Ben, Paul Simon, Depeche Mode

Odd jobs?
J: World Famous Modulator at 107.7 KNDD Seattle, WA aka I set up tents, broke em down and handed out stickers and CDs.

M: I used to split my time between watering plants and washing dirty towels at a fitness center.

Favorite song to dance to?
J: Right now, "Hang With Me" - Robyn (that will change in about 2 weeks after I've listened to it roughly 23409890 times). Easily.

M: This is an even tie between "Black Girl Pain" by Talib Kweli/Jean Grae & "Mo Money Mo Problems".

Cry to?
M: "Forgiven", by Deb Talan

J: Oh we don't cry.

I am happiest when___________?
J & M: writing a song i feel great about / feeling in love / wandering around in the fall.

Favorite band you’ve played with?
Through some crazy stroke of luck we played our first show on a bill with JD Samson & MEN. We were on earlier in the night and were plenty toasty by the time MEN took the stage. We were stuck in the green room because the door was right on the stage and we didn't want to interrupt their performance, so we watched from the top of the stairs at the back of the stage while they totally killed it. Our show wen - MTV Music Blog


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

In late 2009, Maia and Joanna bonded over whiskey and salt bagels.

The pair began emailing each other song ideas and soon began writing music together as Mitten. Written entirely over email, the duo completed a shimmering collection of songs, writing lyrics on buses and at rest stops between Brooklyn and Boston. See You Bye was produced, recorded, and mixed in Katcher’s Manhattan office, rising to #24 on Hype Machine’s “Most Popular” list.

Mitten has performed their energetic live set with DEVO, Psychedelic Furs, Tom Tom Club, MEN, and The Blow and plays to packed venues all over the east coast. Mitten has been featured on MTV and Out Magazine and their music is currently playing in stores including GAP, Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, Pinkberry, Vans and Puma and has been placed in various commercials and films.

Mitten was honored to be included in NPR’s guide to CMJ this year and toured the southeast in January 2012 with Allison Weiss. Maia & Joanna regularly produce video blogs for homoground.com and are currently in the studio completing their debut full length album.