Calgary heavy rockers Miesha & The Spanks are back with their latest release entitled Singles EP. #CMIAE artist Miesha Louie spoke with CMI via email about the record’s origins, adapting from an ever touring live band to releasing music under lockdown, balancing creativity and new motherhood, and exploring what it means to be a “Mixed Blood Girl”.
Q: HOW DID THE SINGLES EP COME ABOUT?
A: The plan when we started (pre-pandemic) was to have 4-5 standalone singles, more like a compilation record than an album. But then we were interrupted, and suddenly there was this life-changing experience influencing the writing. When the EP should have been finished, more good songs kept popping out of us that fit together and we didn’t want to cut. So, we let more songs sneak on than maybe we would have otherwise, without the pandemic shifting things around.
We released Singles EP with a series of pre-released singles starting back in July. When we started, we really weren’t sure what was going to happen with touring and festivals or anything. We figured our best move was just to start moving music and getting it out there. When “Unstoppable” came out, we hadn’t even finished recording the EP. The campaign became about radio pitching and music videos instead of tour dates, and even now I don’t think we’ll be on tour for real until next year. It’s been a different release cycle for us!
Q: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL “UNSTOPPABLE”?
A: I always feel unstoppable when I’m playing a really kick–butt super tour–tight set. About halfway through a tour, we like to challenge ourselves and play a game where we don’t stop between songs, and we just play the whole set in one go. When we pull that off, we are completely unstoppable.
Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU’VE LEARNED TO DO IN THE PANDEMIC WHEN YOU “WANNA FEEL GOOD”?
A: Throughout lockdown, I’ve really been enjoying walks with my dog down to the river. I live close to Bowmont Park (in Calgary), and down the rocky beach there’s this spot where the Bow River splits, and I don’t know what it is but there are some special vibes there. A lot of my voice memo song ideas come when we’re out there.
Q: IS THERE A PARTICULAR TRACK YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF ON THIS EP?
A: “Mixed Blood Girls” took a lot out of me and I’m happy with the music and the lyrics and the production. It’s also connected me with more of my community and that means so much to me and Steve Lamacq played it on BBC6! I had a clean version made, but because there was profanity, I didn’t really expect it to get much airtime. I was wrong! I’m proud that something I made is meaningful to other people while still getting some small critical acclaim.
I’ve always written personal music and shared mostly from real-life experience, except for this huge part of who I am and where I come from. I’ve always identified as Indigenous, but I’ve never shared what that meant to me, or what my life was like being mixed, or what my relationship was with my culture, community, and family. I guess it was always in the back of my head that I would eventually get there, but when I heard a poem called “Mixedblood Girls” by Rain Prud’Homme, it really inspired me to get writing. Because her poem hit me so hard, it finally resonated with me that maybe my story would connect with someone else as well.